Matt Nagy making no excuses for Mitch Trubisky — Rams game a bump in the road
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Mitch Trubisky thrives on repetition and preparation. So it wasn’t a big surprise that he was off his game against the Rams on Sunday night after not throwing a pass in a game in three weeks.
“It has nothing to do with rust,” coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “Both defenses had their own unique ways of making things happen. You’d like to have pinpoint accuracy on every throw. And there’s some that he was slightly off.
“But that’s my job, too, to make sure that I’m putting him in good positions with the play-calls that I have. And then we talk on the sideline and make sure that we’re on the same page. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Trubisky performed like a player who had not played in three weeks and was jacked to be back on the field. He completed 16 of 30 passes (53.3 percent) for 110 yards and one touchdown and threw three interceptions for a season-low 33.3 passer rating. Two of his three interceptions were on balls that sailed on him. He never completed more than three consecutive passes.
“I was pretty amped and anxious coming out for this game because I was out for two weeks,” Trubisky said. “That had nothing to do with the way I played. I think I just need to settle down, be better with my footwork [and] try not to do too much.”
Trubisky’s passer rating for the season dropped to 92.0 — below the league average of 93.9 and 22nd in the NFL. But Nagy did not see Trubisky’s poor performance as a step back in his development.
“Not when you win,” Nagy said. “He made some plays when we needed to. For him to be able to keep learning, there’s going to be some bumps in the road. You can’t throw for 350 yards every game. That’s just not gonna happen in this offense in Year 1.”
Still, if rust wasn’t a factor, Trubisky should’ve fared better against a Rams defense that came in ranked 20th in the NFL in opponents’ passer rating (96.8). In fact, the top seven quarterbacks the Rams faced — from No. 1 Drew Brees to No. 12 Kirk Cousins — had a combined 120.5 passer rating against them (22 touchdown passes, three interceptions). The five lowest-ranked quarterbacks — from No. 18 Derek Carr to unranked Sam Bradford — had a combined 72.8 rating against them (five touchdown passes, eight interceptions). Trubisky joined the bottom group.
“I’m pretty disappointed in myself, the way I played — especially being out two weeks,” Trubisky said. “It’s hard to be down when you get such a big win like that. I’ll get everything corrected. I’m going to go back to work, work really hard and play a lot better. But I’m just very proud of the way the team had my back.”
After beating the Rams, the Bears (9-4) not only are likely to make the playoffs, but have a chance to be a factor in the postseason. But much of that hope is predicated on Trubisky and the offense continuing to grow. That didn’t happen against the Rams. In his last four games, Trubisky has a 79.6 passer rating (six touchdown passes, six interceptions). But the Bears have won all four games.
Nagy has been loath to make excuses for Trubisky or criticize his subpar performances. Rust almost certainly was a factor in the game. With a second consecutive full week of practice, he figures to be better against the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field.
“Just talking to Mitch after the game — the thing that I love about him is he cares so much,” Nagy said. “He knows that we as an offense can play better, and he’s gonna be the first one in here to try to make sure that we’re doing everything the right way.”