What if Mitch Trubisky beats Packers on Sunday?
What would you think of Mitch Trubisky then? Would he be the draft disappointment or the quarterback who led the Bears to more playoff berths in a three-year span than Jay Cutler did in eight?
What would you think of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky if he beat the Packers on Sunday?
How would you feel about him if he led the Bears to the playoffs for the second time in the three seasons he has been paired with coach Matt Nagy? And improved his record as a starter during that time to 26-12, including 7-2 this season, with his last loss coming a month ago?
Would Trubisky then be legitimate in the eyes of his critics?
What would you think about a quarterback who has led the Bears to 140 points in their last four games, which — albeit against bad defenses — ranks second in the NFL during that time? And whose 108.5 passer rating in that span trails only Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Philip Rivers and Josh Allen? And who ranks among the top 10 in yards per pass attempt and the top five in completion percentage this month?
If the Bears lose to the Packers and the Cardinals beat the Rams, the game Sunday well could be Trubisky’s last in navy and orange. The Bears decided in May not to pick up his fifth-year option.
But what if the Bears win? Or if the Rams do and put the Bears in the playoffs, regardless of the result at Soldier Field? What would you think of Trubisky then? Would he be the same draft-day disappointment or the quarterback who led the Bears to more playoff berths in a three-year span than Jay Cutler did in eight?
Or is Trubisky both?
The Bears’ playoff life is at stake, but so is Trubisky’s reputation. A victory even might make him the favorite to guide the Bears’ offense next season, though probably on a short contract.
Nagy was asked Monday what a victory would mean for Trubisky.
‘‘It would be special,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘But we can’t make it that big. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing, which is focusing on each week. And I think that has probably been the greatest strength that we’ve had so far the last three, four weeks offensively: We’ve focused on the team that was in front of us. And on how do we play fast and how do we score touchdowns.
‘‘To get a win versus this team would be great, but I don’t think it is going to change the way Mitchell is for the possibility of the upcoming week after that.’’
Trubisky had a moment like this once before, pass-game coordinator Dave Ragone said. In the playoffs against the Eagles two years ago, Trubisky completed two passes for 33 yards in the last 45 seconds of the game to give Cody Parkey a 43-yard field-goal try.
The ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage, then double-doinked off the goalpost and the crossbar to the ground.
‘‘We all obviously know the outcome of that drive,’’ Ragone said. ‘‘But what he was able to do . . . perceptionally, if we win that game and move on, what it would have done for him.’’
The benefit of Trubisky living through that, Ragone said, was that it taught him ‘‘resiliency’’ and ‘‘a no-quit fight that I think a lot of us who are close to him know that he has.’’
If Trubisky is worried about his reputation, he hasn’t let on.
‘‘I don’t know that any of that really factors in,’’ Ragone said. ‘‘I think he just wants to go out right now and play football. And what a great opportunity, a great challenge.
‘‘This is what you dream about as a quarterback ever since you were a little kid. You get to play — especially when you’re playing for the Chicago Bears — the Green Bay Packers for a chance and an opportunity to continue your season. I don’t know that you can draw it up much better, to be honest.’’