On Sunday September 30th, 2018 The Chicago Bears faithful got to witness what they hope is the man to stand under center for years to come. The Chicago Bears quarterback broke out in Week 4 and if he didn’t leave an impression then you weren’t watching. So was it real though? Is This who he can be? Was it just a fantastic job of play calling by Matt Nagy? Maybe it was simply a great match up against a team with a poor defense and a career back-up QB who’s time was up? Well that’s what were here to try and figure out. This game was by far and away Trubisky’s best game as a pro. He scored well above his career fantasy point average as seen here…
Real Or Not: Mitchell Trubisky
…and he’s only had one top-five finish (25/32, 271 Yards, 1 TD, 2 Rush, 5 Yards, 1 TD) as seen here…
His career is young and as we’ve seen from Jared Goff so far this year, a sub par rookie year is not a coffin nail in his career.
First off we will go over the stats. What should we believe about them and what we should ignore. Also i went through all of his plays and will give my thoughts. Finally we will decide what to make of trubisky going forward. Now let’s #BEARDOWN and dive deep into Number 10’s incredible six touchdown day.
Week 4 Final Line: Completed 19/26 passes, 354 yards, 6 TDs, 3 rush, 53 yards
First of all, you don’t need me to tell you this is impressive. Every aspect of it from his efficiency, accuracy, mobility, to the obvious, six TDs. Here’s the list of his attempts from Week 4.
(Quarter/ Receiver/ Down and Distance/ Location/ Yards/ Result/ Notes) – Longest to shortest/ TDs in Bold
- Second/ Burton/ 2nd and 9/ Own 33/ 47 Yards/ First Down/ Wide open due to blown coverage – 23 Yards After Catch (YAC).
- *12:20 First/ Burton/ 1st and 10/ TB 39/ 39 yards/ TD/ Wide open due to defender falling down on double move.
- First/ Cohen/ 2nd and 10/ TB 39/ 35 Yards/ First Down/ Perfect pass.
- First/ Gabriel/ 1st and 10/ Own 28/ 33 Yards/ First Down/ Blown coverage due to defender caught looking in back field – 8 YAC.
- Second/ Cohen/ 1st and 10/ Own 34/ 31 Yards/ First Down/ Cohen with great one handed catch on a screen pass – All YAC.
- Second/ Gabriel/ 1st and 10/ Own 30/ 30 Yards/ First Down/ Beautiful diving catch.
- Third/ Cohen/ 1st and 10/ TB 31/ 28 Yards/ First Down/ Perfect touch pass – Cohen on a linebacker.
- *8:59 Second/ Ballamy/ 1st and 10/ TB 20/ 20 Yards/ TD/ Blown coverage due to two defenders going with one receiver leaving Bellamy free.
- *2:11 First/ Robinson/ 1st and 10/ TB 14/ 14 Yards/ TD/ First TD with Bears – Good touch.
- Forth/ Gabriel/ 2nd and 12/ TB 46/ 14 Yards/ First Down/ Trubisky with perfect pass while running to his left.
- Forth/ Gabriel/ 2nd and 12/ Own 34/ 11 Yards/ 3rd and 1/ All YAC.
- First/ Gabriel/ 1st and 10/ TB 24/ 10 Yards/ First down/ 3 YAC.
- First/ Robinson/ 1st and 10/ Own 48/ 9 Yards/ 2nd and 1/ Out route, thrown on time – 2 YAC.
- *12:21 Second/ Cohen/ !st and Goal/ TB 9/ 9 Yards/ TD/ Mismatch on a linebacker.
- Forth/ Cohen/ 3rd and 15/ TB 37/ 9 Yards/ 4th and 6/ Hits Cohen in the flat – 8 YAC.
- First/ Cohen/ 1st and 10/ Own 25/ 5 Yards/ 2nd and 5/ All Yards after the Catch.
- Second/ Cohen/ 3rd and 1/ Own 18/ 4 Yards/ First Down/ Screen pass – All YAC.
- *4:56 Second/ Gabriel/ 2nd and Goal/ TB 3/ 3 Yards/ TD/ Two QBs in the game – Shovel pass – Essentially a run.
- *10:28 Third/ Gabriel/ 3rd and 3/ TB 3/ 3 Yards/ TD/ Sprint out to the right to hit wide open man – similar to the previous play.
(Quarter/ Target/ Reason) – End Zone targets in Bold
- First/ Robinson/ Poor throw – To far in front of the receiver.
- First/ Wims/ Poor throw – Over Wims’ head. Should have been an easy pitch-and-catch.
- Second/ Howard/ Attempted screen pass – Thrown into double coverage.
- Second/ Burton/ Failed screen pass – Trubisky was rushed and forced to throw the ball into the turf.
- *10:41 Third/ Burton/ Good coverage – Thrown out of the end zone.
- *10:35 Third/ Cohen/ Incomplete end zone target – Thrown where only Cohen had a chance, Unable to make the catch.
- Third/ Robinson/ Robinson had separation and pass was under-thrown. Pass Defensed
Target Share – Cohen 30.8%/ Gabriel 26.9%/ Robinson 15.4%/ Burton 15.4%/ Bellamy 3.8%/ Howard 3.8%/ Wims 3.8%
(Quarter/ Down and Distance/ Location/ yards/ scenario and result)
- First/ 3rd and 1/ Own 34/ 4 Yards/ QB sneak – First Down.
- First/ 2nd and 10/ Own 38/ 23 yards/ Read Option – First Down.
- Second/ 1st and 10/ TB 27/ 26 Yards/ Recognized man coverage (Defenders had their backs to him) – First Down, nearly scored.
So what does this all mean? Trubisky had an amazing, but unsustainable 31.6 TD% with six TDs on 19 completions. 2018 Patrick Mahomes and 2017 DeShaun Watson are jealous. This type of production and efficiency should never be banked on. EVER… The greatest quarterbacks of the modern era average between four and six and a half percent of their throws going for a TD. Most noteworthy is Aron Rodgers with a ^.3TD%. Furthermore, he had only previously thrown more than one TD only once in Week 2 of this year. Week 3 of his rookie season is the only time he’s posted a higher Yards per Completion (Y/C) and Yards per Attempt (Y/A) then he did today (18.6 Y/C – 13.6 Y/A). As a result, 50+ fantasy points in six point per passing TD leagues.
Opening Up The Offense
I should remind you of his stat line from his rookie year. Trubisky completed 4/7 passes, 107 yards for a 26.75 Y/C and 15.3 Y/A. Seems like the offense has opened up considerably more this week. Not just from Week 3 of his rookie year, but from Week 3 of this year. So you can see above the Bears had eight explosive passing plays (20 Yards or more). Two of them going for a TD. Another two TDs coming on passes of nine and 14 yards. The last two TDs were much shorter. Three yards each, one of them being on a shovel pass. It goes in the books as a passing TD but might as well have been a run. Both of these could have easily Gone to one of the running backs and lessened the impact of Trubisky’s day. But the ball was bouncing his way all day.
The Eye Test
Finally, you’ve seen the numbers. Hence, it’s time to figure out what to believe in this game. From the get-go on Sunday, it seemed like Chicago could do no wrong and Tampa could do no right. On Trubisky’s third attempt of the game Trey Burton ran a simple out and up, but the defensive back fell down on the double move and it was like taking candy from a baby after that. Burton hauled in the deep bomb for an early lead. Bears receivers, in fact, were running free all day, it seemed like. If they weren’t running free through the secondary, they were being schemed into mismatch after mismatch by Nagy.
Nagy clearly had a plan of attack. Using his small quicker guys like Cohen and Gabriel to go after the Bucs linebackers and safeties. The two playmakers led the team in targets with eight for Cohen seven for Gabriel. They consistently drew mismatches and benefited from blown coverage in the secondary. Tampa’s back-end did little to stop this. On several occasions, two defenders didn’t pass the receiver off and followed the wrong Bear leaving a man free. Allen Robinson was involved as he hauled in one of the six TDs but he was not the focal point on this day. Both of Burton’s big receptions came on blown coverage’s along with Bellamy’s TD. The two three-yard TDs went the young QBs way today. Again, these could have easily been a part of a big Howard day. Or an even bigger Cohen day.
Maybe his kind of play calling isn’t surprising though as Nagy is an Andy Reid protege. How many times has he frustrated us in the past with Dontari Poe jump passes? It was bound to happen. Well, the Howard owners know how it feels now. Not only did he get vultured at the three but he was also out snapped and out-touched by Tarik Cohen. The touches were 20 – 11. Cohen received seven more targets then Howard. The big RB had been getting some good use in the passing game until this week. If Cohen can show Nagy that he’s capable of this type of game going forward we could be looking at a full-on committee. Consequently, this helps the future prospects of Trubisky in my opinion. A young QB needs to have a reliable check down option.
The Final Question
This has three parts to it.
The Chicago Bears offense
Do I believe what I saw? Not fully. I was however highly encouraged by this game. The Tampa defense made it easy for Chicago but good teams capitalize on mistakes. They have two good running backs. One for any situation but Cohen does seem to open things up more. A decent wide receiving core that fits the style of the offense. Losing Anthony Miller does hurt though as the young wide receiver was starting to show a little bit. A reliable tight end weapon. Trey Burton hadn’t shined until week four but we’ve seen his potential in Philly. Last but Absolutely not least…
The mastermind behind the offense. Nagy’s ability to call plays was put on display last year as he righted the Chiefs mid-season struggles. Defenses had adjusted to the Chiefs attack as Andy Reid for whatever reason forgot he had the leagues leading rusher. Nagy was handed the play calling duties and we saw what he was capable of holding the clipboard. In week four he did a masterful job of scheming his skill-position players into the right spots and right match-ups to take advantage of an underwhelming defense. It worked to perfection in nearly every way and the main beneficiary…
First, can he have this kind of production again…? Certainly, because we just saw it. I would tend to think no is probably the more accurate answer though. At least probably not. More then likely, this is the best you will ever see from him.
Second, Can Trubisky come anywhere near this again…? The Bears have seen what they want to be. Mis-direction, screen passes, isolating quick and speedy guys on linebackers, take pressure off the QB with the occasional deep ball to keep the defense honest. Also, get the ball quickly into the playmakers hands and let them work down the field. In my opinion with the help of Nagy, Mitch Trubisky can be 2017 Alex Smith Light. He is mobile enough to get you 30-50 rushing yards if the occasion calls for it. So he shouldn’t take to many risks or even be put in the situation to take big risks with the style of offense. Tarik Cohen could boost his value tremendously if what he showed on Sunday translates to future games. Howard has been solid receiving so far in ’18 but he is nowhere near as explosive as Cohen.
Due to all the factors, I’ve gone over, I believe Trubisky has now entered the weekly streamer category and should be considered when they have a plus matchup. Can he enter into the weekly starter category though? Ill say not yet and at the moment I’m more interested in what the offense can be as a whole under Nagy. Sunday was exciting. Let’s see where they go from here. Just don’t get too crazy about Trubisky yet for fantasy reasons. He doesn’t start over an under-performing Aaron Rodgers yet folks.