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Mitch at night: Trubisky must show Bears he can thrive in prime time

In six career night games — two Monday, one Thursday and three Sunday — Mitch Trubisky has completed 122 of 200 passes for 1,002 yards, with five touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 63.4 passer rating.

Mitch Trubisky has started six night games.
AP Photos

The Bears embrace playing in prime time. Just being scheduled at night, they say, means they’re doing something right.

Now they just need their quarterback to play well in a prime-time game. That hasn’t happened yet, even as Mitch Trubisky is preparing for his seventh career night game Monday at the Redskins.

Judging by passer rating, Trubisky is an above-average quarterback at noon, a below-average one in midafternoon and, well, a hot mess at night.

In six career night games — two Monday, one Thursday and three Sunday — Trubisky has completed 122 of 200 passes for 1,002 yards, with five touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 63.4 passer rating.

That’s Moses Moreno territory.

Trubisky has thrown more than one touchdown only once at night — last season against the Seahawks — but more than one interception three times. Amazingly, the Bears are 3-3 in those games, though that’s Trubisky’s worst winning percentage of any start time.

Trubisky has a winning record — 9-8 — and a 96.7 passer rating in games that start at noon Central time. In late-afternoon games, Trubisky has a 81.4 passer rating and a 4-1 record.

The NFL average for all games this season is a 93.9 passer rating, the highest since the league began.

Sample-size caveats are worth considering when detailing Trubisky’s struggles at night. Two prime-time games have come against the rival Packers and another two, including his first career start in 2017, have come against the Vikings. The Bears were “flexed” into two Sunday-night games last season because the Vikings and Rams were tougher-than-average opponents.

On the other hand, five of Trubisky’s six prime-time games have taken place at Soldier Field. The game Monday at FedEx Field will mark the first time Trubisky has played a road game in prime time without an entire offseason to prepare for it. His only other road night game was the 2018 season opener in Green Bay.

Trubisky’s prime-time performance is an alarming trend for a player whose brutal third season already has been picked apart for two consecutive weeks. Coach Matt Nagy has spent that time trying to stress the Bears’ offense is about more than one player, but he knows the coach and quarterback always get an outsized share of both the credit and the blame.

‘‘A big game like that, where it’s a Monday-night game — everyone’s watching, there’s no other games going on — you can’t make it bigger than what it is, in my opinion,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘Using the Green Bay [opener two weeks ago] — the first game of the year, big game, everybody’s watching, right? — I felt like . . . everyone could’ve been a little better in trying to make things happen and how we handled that game.

‘‘So we’ve been using that as, ‘Let’s use how we went about Game 1 on the big stage . . . and how do we get better the next time we’re on that stage.’’

They must. After Monday, the Bears will play four more games in the dark, starting with a 6 p.m. London time kickoff in Week 5 against the Raiders. They’ll play on ‘‘Sunday Night Football’’ in Week 11 at the Rams and in Week 16 against the Chiefs and on ‘‘Thursday Night Football’’ in Week 14 against the Cowboys.

‘‘There’s a little bit more attitude when you’re playing on Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night,’’ receiver Allen Robinson said. ‘‘You know the whole world is watching. There’s only one game on at that time.’’

On Monday, they all will be watching Trubisky.