After the bears benched Mitch Trubisky Sunday night due to a “hip injury” which looked more like the Bears turned to Chase Daniels to lead a game winning drive against Los Angeles, I decided to do a very in depth study at what Chicago can do to save this talented roster from complete implosion. Diving in first to actually how bad Mitch has been this year, why it's not Nagy’s fault, and then finally exploring alternative options after this season’s concluded.
Crazy enough, before the season Mitchell Trubisky was the most popular bet to win MVP. MVP. A complete 360 from where we are now, as Mitch continues to struggle and the Bears lose games, there’s little hope that Trubisky will be the answer moving forward as Sunday’s benching proves to show. After making the pro bowl last season everyone was expecting him to make a big jump after another season in this offseason, (ie. the large number of MVP bets). Every analyst was on the young quarterbacks side expecting great things, except my most trusted football analytical source Pro Football Focus that saw crucial flaws in his game and doubted his eventual “next step”. Something that I chose to ignore because, well honestly I just didn’t want to believe that the Bears couldn’t be great with this talented of a team. If the Bears had at the very least a serviceable quarterback they could be a playoff team and Super Bowl contender. I couldn’t fathom the idea that Chicago had an achilles heal and it happened to be the most important position on the field. So without further ado, let us look at why the Bears should leave the Trubisky era in the past if we truly want a chance at the Lombardi.
Mitch has been inaccurate, very poor decision making, and straight up unable to find an open receiver not named Allen Robinson 10 yards down the field. If it weren’t for Robinson’s fantastic under the radar play this year, Trubisky’s season would look even worse than it already does. I watched a fantastic video put together by Brett Kollman, who exposes some of Mitches biggest flaws, especially his decision making. The most important aspect that makes up a good quarterback;
Mitches inability to make more than one read on any given play should’ve been flag #1. Not being able to go from first read, to second, to third, limits the effectiveness of the play call entirely. Mitch has an awful tendency to stare down his first read and forcing throws to covered receivers, when the second or third option’s get open Mitch misses them completely being unable to take in the whole field of play. Which is exactly why Bear fans shouldn’t blame Nagy’s sometimes questionable play calling this season.
Yes, he had a problem establishing the run game early on the season and threw the ball way too much, but I think that this was a direct result from Mitch’s poor play. Nagy along with everyone else expected Mitch to start learning from his mistakes and make corrections but that’s obviously not the case. Nagy’s offense is tailor made for the modern NFL, featuring a perfect dose of RB’s used in the passing game, creative running plays and formations, and passes on early downs that have been proven by PFF to create a higher expected points per drive than average play calls. Basically creating one of the most favorable systems in the league for quarterbacks to play in. Due to the fact that Trubisky misses reads and throws on those early downs we find ourselves in lots of second & long, and third & long forcing us to pass way more than Nagy would like to. You can even see the difference in the number of play calls Matt has game-planned for that week compared to last year has decreased insurmountably due to Mitches limitations. Last year he had his menu like play sheet filled from the front and back, and now the back is barren and his stapled message “BE YOU.” stands out so much more. Yes there’s probably more that he could have done this year i'm not saying he’s excluded from any blame and some of his decisions have been highly questionable. All i'm saying is that its absolutely crazy to want a change at HC and it would be a huge mistake to disregard everything he has done so far in the NFL.
One of the worst things about Mitch’s awful play was the other quarterbacks we drafted in front of him. Looking back at that 2017 draft every Bears fan hears “you guys could’ve drafted Mahomes or Watson” and yes that’s true, but... Mahomes became a star under Andy Reid’s high powered offense and came into a great situation that nobody foresaw. I think it’s unfair to say that “we missed” on Mahomes when really the Cheifs got a diamond in the rough. On the other hand though, Watson should’ve been the clear choice. A proven winner that went to two college football championships and a passion that’s unmatched. So if your not a Bears fan and you want to make fun of that pick, keep Mahomes out of the conversation. If the Chicago really has Super Bowl aspirations, Mitch cannot be our starting quarterback. While personally the Trubisky era has ended in my book I decided to start investigating a new Quarterback situation for the Bears. There’s 3 scenarios that could go down at the end of the season, trading for a backup, signing a free agent, or drafting a rookie and this is how I can see it playing out:
*Due to the fact that we didn’t trade for a QB before the trade deadline after Week 8, we can’t make any roster moves until the start of the next offseason in February.*
As a franchise we currently don’t have a lot of draft capital or expendable players on the bubble of our roster. So, trading for a viable starting QB is harder in a sense that we would have to give a player or even more picks that were desperately low on, making this scenario my second favorite out of the three. Below are the trade options I think could possibly happen ranked from best case scenario to worst:
Option 1: Andy Dalton
Option 2: Cam Newton
Option 3: Alex Smith
Option 4: Gardner Minshew
Option 5: Josh Rosen
At first glance you probably think its stupid to have Andy Dalton ahead of Cam Newton but hear me out. Cam has yet to play a healthy season since 2015 and since then Andy Dalton has been to the playoffs 4 times in his career on teams that have been severely worse than what Chicago has right now. Yeah Cam would be sick on the Bears and I’d probably get that jersey, but I think Dalton is the safer option and honestly more realistic. Cam’s future in Carolina is still up in the air barring on how Kyle Allen finishes the season. While the Bengals hold the worst record in football having the best odds at the number one overall pick, which means Joe Burrow will likely be back in Ohio by mid April. I think that the Red Rocket could lead Chicago to the playoffs and maybe a Super Bowl? Alex Smith could give Chicago whatever he has left in the tank for one incredible season run? Don’t forget that Alex Smith was the MVP frontrunner when Matt Nagy was OC in Kansas City. Option 4 Gardner Minshew deserves a chance to start somewhere, if Jacksonville sticks with Foles next year, Chicago should send out some feelers to the Jaguars. Lastly, Could Rosen be successful on a talented roster? No one has given him the chance since he played on the 3-13 Cardinals, and currently 2-8 Dolphins, its worth a shot for Chicago at a low cost.
Free agency signing:
Some of these names on this list could end up resining with their teams and not an actual option for us come February. This list is pretty thin which makes it my least favorite option of the three. Below are the free agent options I think could possibly happen ranked from best case scenario to worst:
Option 1: Teddy Bridgewater
Option 2: Jameis Winston
Option 3: Phillip Rivers
Option 4: Marcus Mariota
Since discussing the free agency market is a hypothetical right now I won’t go too in depth with these. Teddy is young and a proven winner, if there’s any way Chicago could grab him, it’d be worth it. Jameis would be risky but I think at the very least if we got a playoff berth that crazier things have happened than Winston could win 3-4 games in a row? With our defense that seems quite possible. I’d like to leave 3 and 4 as last options in case shit hits the fan and we could potentially be stuck with Mitch for another year.
QB through the draft:
This would be my first choice for how I wanted the Bears Quarterback scinerio to play out. Rookie QB’s are transitioning smoother and faster into the NFL than ever before. There’s a pretty good chance that we can find a starting quarterback in this next class. So, I did a quick study of how many franchises have Super Bowl contending quarterbacks on their roster, Or a young guy that *could* win a Super Bowl. These were the teams that fell under that category:
*Teams with older Qb’s that could be on their way out*