Do you believe in the latest version of Mitch Trubisky?
Do you want to believe in the latest version of Mitch Trubisky?
Those are the questions I raised on social media Sunday while the Bears were in the process of beating the Vikings. Those questions came before his very bad interception in the end zone late in the game, the one that would have given Minnesota a chance to win or tie if not for the fact that Minnesota had no chance against a Bears defense that had remembered it was good.
I don’t want to give away my opinion just yet, but sources familiar with my thinking say my answers to the above questions are “no” and “are you serious?” For now, just know that Bears fans were all over the map in their responses, even as their team was on the way to a 33-27 victory and a much better shot at a playoff berth.
It was another reminder that, no matter which side of the Trubisky debate you fall on, there’s no arguing the hold he has on our town. That hold is either a hug or a hostage situation. A few responses from the gallery:
“I want to believe, but I have been burned too much by this guy.’’
“Kinda and yes.’’
“No and No. This is just some Tim Tebow 2.0 horse manure. It won’t win them rings.’’
“There is no ‘this’ about it. I have always believed in Mitch Trubisky. [Coach Matt] Nagy was the problem, and he was supposed to be the mentor that Mitch needed. Instead of building Tru up, he suppressed him.’’
“Do I: no. Do I want to: yes.’’
“I want to but … who the F knows?’’
Trubisky completed 15 of 21 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown Sunday. There has been something different about him since he came back from a seven-game benching last month, but I’m not sure if the new look is Trubisky’s doing. It might have something to do with playing the Lions, the Texans and the Vikings the last three weeks.
Put another way, in order for one Twitter follower to believe in this version of Trubisky, the quarterback “has to play good vs. a top 10 points-allowed defense.’’
The Bears run the ball better with Nagy out of the play-calling business, which is to say they are actually running the ball now. On Sunday, they ran 42 times and passed 21 times. That imbalance gave Trubisky more room to maneuver, and it lessened the chances of him making bad mistakes. He ran eight times and rolled out numerous others. As Shakespeare put it so well, “It ain’t rocket science.’’
“I don’t want to quite say night and day, but our confidence is way up from earlier in the season, where it just seemed like we were a little unsure about what we wanted to do, who we wanted to be,’’ Trubisky said. “We have more of an identity now. It starts with running the football, and the play-action and movement game that comes off that.’’
David Montgomery ran 32 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Why the Bears weren’t putting this kind of
emphasis on the run game earlier in the season (or ever under Nagy) is a very good question. It’s probably something a discerning owner would ask during an exit interview.
Last week, Mitch informed us of another “new’’ Mitch. This one is vocal with coaches about what plays and players he prefers in certain situations. It’s a much more assertive Mitch. Time will tell if this is just another Nagy-driven talking point. Depending on your outlook, the recent gushing about Trubisky is either music to your ears or scratching on a chalkboard.
There is every reason to believe that victories over mediocre/bad teams down the stretch and a spot in the playoffs will allow Bears ownership to bring everyone back — general manager Ryan Pace, Nagy and . . . wait for it . . . Trubisky. That’s why I raised the question whether Bears fans wanted to believe in this version of the quarterback. To believe in Trubisky means one of two things, with no in-between: Either he’ll continue to improve or he’ll revert back to the quarterback who breaks your heart, if you make the mistake of showing him your chest cavity again.
Do you believe in the Mitch of the last three weeks or the Mitch of the previous three-plus years? To Trubisky or not to Trubisky, that is the question.
The answer here is still “no.’’ I don’t believe in this shinier version. But I know the effect a tease can have on someone who really, really wants to believe. Someone like, say, a McCaskey.