Bills defense’s ‘controlled chaos’ a good test for Bears QB Mitch Trubisky
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On third-and-10 from the Bears’ 45 against the Jets in the third quarter, quarterback Mitch Trubisky missed a throw . . . but he also didn’t.
“One person’s step up and flush and convert a third-and-10 with your feet is another guy’s slide to the right, slide on a foot and throw the ball to Anthony Miller,” offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. “We’ll take both.”
At this point in Trubisky’s development, the Bears absolutely will. Trubisky ran for the first down, outracing Jets safety Jamal Adams to the down marker.
Trubisky can be commended on the play but also critiqued as he learns how to identify, handle and beat different blitzes and pressures better in the NFL.
“The really good quarterbacks in the league can navigate in the pocket, create more time for themselves and find open receivers downfield,” Trubisky said. “That’s something I’m trying to get better at every week.”
That third-down conversion should help him against the Bills and their sixth-ranked defense Sunday at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.
“They can put a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” Helfrich said. “They are very exotic but sound in how they rush the passer and how they attack protections. Very, very smart and very difficult. They mix up coverages just enough to give that quarterback a little half-second of hesitation, and then the pressure is there from the rush.”
The Jets blitzed Trubisky a good amount last week. On Trubisky’s aforementioned third-down conversion, they rushed six, including Adams, who drove running back Benny Cunningham back toward Trubisky, and defensive end Henry Anderson, who swiped through right tackle Bobby Massie’s block to graze Trubisky with his right hand.
Trubisky’s scramble extended a drive that ended with his back-shoulder touchdown throw to Miller in the back of the end zone. That was another moment added to Trubisky’s memory bank. The same can be said about what Trubisky faced on the road against the Cardinals and Dolphins.
“There are a lot of similarities in those teams’ approaches,” Helfrich said. “And then it’s just a matter of the chess pieces, where this team may be better at defensive end or the other team might be better at the other positions. That’s where the differences are, and certainly who’s available and who’s healthy throughout the week changes their approach a bit. [The Bills have] been very good for a long time at all their stops defensively. It’s a unique challenge.”
The Bills flummoxed Tom Brady on Monday night, even though the Patriots won 25-6. Brady’s 45 passes were the most he has attempted in a game without throwing for a touchdown since 2013.
“The easiest way I can put it is, there’s a little bit of controlled chaos to them,” coach Matt Nagy said. “They fly around, and it’s chaotic. It can try to make you scramble. You saw a couple of times Monday night where Tom Brady is back there, and his feet got a little quick, and he had to dirt the ball. They’re good. They’re a good defense.”
Trubisky said the Bills’ defense — which has 21 sacks — is impressive and super-aggressive. Defensive end Jerry Hughes and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander each have 4½ sacks.
“They just wreak havoc up front,” he said. “They’re trying to cause as much trouble as possible. They fly to the ball and don’t really take plays off. When you watch that on film, we’ve got to match that intensity every snap.”