In the end, Mitch Trubisky was Sunday what he has been throughout his Bears career: a small player in the big moment. With a chance to change his narrative, a chance to pay off his achievements of the last month against a terrific opponent, Trubisky again failed against the Green Bay Packers. Inaccurate throws all over the field. Another nightmare toss into the end zone that somehow was not intercepted. More poor decisions from the pocket. More refusing to use his legs, this time to the dismay of color analyst Daryl Johnston.
It wasn’t about the play calling. It wasn’t about the limitations of the quarterback.
I love how the narrative changes to “the playcalling was bad.” The reality is they ran the ball 27 times and a good defense took away Mitch’s limited game plan. As we’ve been saying, at some point your QB has to make plays. Today he couldn’t.
— Patrick Sheldon (@P_Shels) January 4, 2021
But folks, this isn’t much of a story.
This was the expectation.
Forget the final score at Soldier Field. The Bears had every opportunity to make this contest with their oldest rivals an old fashioned shootout. They kept the ball. They moved the chains. Their tough-to-tackle weapons were once against tough to tackle. Even the defense did its job in the third quarter, with the help of an awful drop. There was an exciting game waiting to be played. But it required two quarterbacks. And like so many other Sundays in the modern history of Bears vs. Packers, only one showed up.
As has been stated by most of the sane folks writing about this franchise, Trubisky had done nothing recently to prove he was the long-term answer at the quarterback position. Nobody is going to pay starting quarterback money to a player that can’t be trusted to throw the football into the end zone and right now Mitch can’t be trusted to do that.
But Trubisky, with the assistance of his head coach and offensive coordinator, had done enough over the last month to show this offense could be productive with him under center. Even historically productive! Sunday he had a chance to cement himself as the front runner to be the team’s starter in September. If, as was argued in this space last week, he simply played to his mean and pitched that mid-90s quarterback rating, the Bears would have had a chance to beat the Packers late and the Trubisky improvement argument would have had some supporting data. He failed.
The Bears have a playoff game next Sunday in New Orleans. Trubisky will be the starter. Against one of the best rush defenses in the league, and a coaching staff that will do everything they can to stop David Montgomery, the Bears will need their quarterback to make plays down the field if they hope to advance. Does anybody believe he can do that?