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On a Sunday in Atlanta, Trubisky and Foles Define Who They Are as Football Players

| September 28th, 2020

(Jose M. Osorio/ Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)


The Bomb Finally Went Off.

As the first quarter came to a close, the Bears took possession, trailing 6-3.

On first down, Mitch Trubisky threw a bomb down the right sideline to a single-covered Ted Ginn.

The throw went out of bounds.

On third down, Trubisky threw a bomb down the left sideline to a single-covered Tarik Cohen.

The throw went way out of bounds.

Later, at the end of the second quarter, he threw a deep ball to Darnell Mooney. You can guess where it went. Moments later he finally landed one in bounds, airmailing a wide open Anthony Miller.

Briefly stated, Mitch Trubisky was in Atlanta who we thought he was. But Matt Nagy didn’t let him off the hook.

Trubisky’s tenure as the quarterback of the Chicago Bears has not definitively come to an end. He’s the backup now for a 3-0 football team and in this league, he should know he’s one blindside sack from being back on the field. And it is a fitting role for #10 because his playing ability suggests the backup role is where he belongs.

Backups can hit the easy, open, short and intermediate stuff. Backups can find fluky runs of form. Backups tend to make their biggest plays when the play has already broken down.

But backups are not expected to complete bombs down the field in rhythm. They’re not expected to produce touchdowns consistently in the red zone. They’re expected to make a few plays weekly that leave fans saying, “Yep, that’s why he isn’t a starter.”

This is the lonely, roadside motel room in which Trubisky now resides.

Peaceful Transition of Power.

There was a moment in Sunday’s game where Nick Foles did a very Nick Foles thing.

7:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. Bears down 16. First and goal at the 9 yard line.

Foles took the snap, sensed pressure and delivered the ball to the first open man he saw.

Montgomery wasn’t the flashy option. Foles isn’t a flashy QB. But the running back broke the tackle, gained 6 hard yards, and set-up an easy touchdown strike to Jimmy Graham two plays later.

When Flip talked about his quarterback playing point guard, this is what he meant. Read the defense, get the ball out, take shots when they present themselves.

The transition from Trubisky to Foles isn’t so much the transition from young player to veteran, or inconsistency to consistency. It feels more like the transition from child to adult. The hand holding is over at the most important position in sports.

The Season is Now.

Because the Bears made the tactical and evaluative error of starting Trubisky these first three games, Foles is way behind where needs to be. When is the last time he even took a first-team snap? More than a month ago? The Bears cant afford plays where Foles is throwing back shoulders to Javon Wims, when it’s clear Wims hasn’t seen one of em in his NFL career. (Trubisky’s “back shoulders” are known as “underthrows”.)

The Bears don’t just have a game Sunday against the Colts. They have Tom Brady four days later. (And somehow Foles will be the youngest starting quarterback in both of those games.)

This organization built one of the most quarterback-friendly offensive staffs in the sport this off-season. It was thought that staff was constructed to support their young, mechanically-challenge first-round pick. But now, today, they need Nagy, Flip and Bill Lazor to get their veteran signal caller up to speed.

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