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Data Entry: Tracking Trubisky’s 2017 Growth Through “The Quarters Lens”

| January 16th, 2018

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith always talked about breaking the NFL season down into quarters, which splits a 16-game season into 4-game sample sizes. I’ve always thought that was a good way to look at it, as grouping four games together helps smooth some of the statistical noise of individual good or bad games.

With that in mind, I want to track Mitchell Trubisky’s rookie season through the quarters lens. Trubisky sat out the first quarter of the season, but took every offensive snap for each of the last three quarters. Let’s see how he progressed through those.


Usage

First, I want to point out that Trubisky was tasked with doing more in each quarter.

In his first 4 games, Trubisky had the ball in his hands on only 26.5 plays per game. Coaches tried to minimize what he had to do, which was why more plays featured handoffs and fewer featured him ending the play with a pass attempt, sack, or run.

In Trubisky’s 5th-8th games, that number increased to 34.3 plays per game, and it took another jump to 39.8 plays per game in the last four games.

For the 32 qualified passers in the NFL this year (224 or more pass attempts), the mean and median were both 38.2 pass attempts, meaning Trubisky was being given as much responsibility (in terms of plays per game) as an average quarterback by the end of the season. This clearly shows that coaches were willing to put more responsibility on Trubisky’s shoulders as the season wore on, which is a good sign.

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Week 16: Browns at Bears Game Preview

| December 21st, 2017


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

Because I always like the Chicago Bears. But really? Browns. Bears. Christmas Eve. Why would I go to this game? I bought this ticket the day tickets went on sale to the general public. What did I think this was going to be?


Ode to Devin Hester

I saw a man fly once.

Without ever leaving the ground, without lifting into the sky,

He flew.

Sometimes I think it was a dream because

a. man. can’t. fly.

But he flew.

And I saw him.


6 Football Thoughts on This Game

  • Saturday night against Detroit seems to be the first time the national football media actually watched Mitch Trubisky play and they have, of course, formed fully-developed conclusions based on four quarters. Those conclusions are not only silly but ill-informed. Re-watching the Lions tape it was impossible not to come away impressed with Trubisky. Hell, even John Fox thought it was his best performance. (Although who know what that means.) But the turnovers can’t become an epidemic and I’d look for that to be Focus Point No. 1 this week. (Also, if you look at Tru’s splits you’ll notice 7 of his 8 picks have come on the road.)
  • I’ve watched at least three games of every Bears opponent prior to writing the game preview. I must admit, I caught the second half of Browns/Packers and have seen very little else of them over the last few months. Oddly, that was probably DeShone Kizer’s best game of the season, even though it featured arguably the worst throw in the NFL all year. My feeling on Kizer is there’s plenty of talent there for a productive NFL quarterback but who knows when he’ll even get the opportunity again.

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Finding A Quarterback: Can DeShone Kizer Hit the Mark?

| March 30th, 2017

If  the Bears can fix whatever it is that causes DeShone Kizer to be so damn inconsistent with his ball placement, they just might have a franchise quarterback.

When I watched Kizer, I never knew what I was going to get from throw-to-throw, a scary thought for a guy the Bears may be considering with the third pick in the draft. But I can’t tell if it’s an issue that can easily be fixed or one that will dog him throughout what would then be a short NFL career.

A lot of people love Kizer. I respect the opinions of some of those who do. But his inaccuracy is undeniable and when you factor in occasionally-puzzling decision making, it makes him a scary prospect.

Some like to say Kizer’s struggles were only a problem this year and there’s something to that. In 2015 he had just 2 games in which he completed less than 55 percent of his passes, compared to 5 last year.

What happened?The talent around him dropped significantly and his coach was a jackass.

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What to Watch for At 2017 Combine

| March 1st, 2017

The NFL’s annual meat market kicks off this week and here are a few things to watch for:

The Quarterbacks

In case you haven’t noticed around here, this off-season is about one thing: finding a quarterback. This week is going to be the Bears first real chance to sit down and talk football with the top four guys: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes.

The Bears know who Brian Hoyer is, have a good feeling about Jimmy Garoppolo and are at least relatively familiar with all of the other veteran options. Their pro personnel department has done their work. They don’t know the quarterbacks in the draft simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to study them beyond their game tape.

Does Watson have enough meat on his bones? What does Kizer attribute his inconsistency to? Is Trubisky really short?  Does Mahomes have any clue when it comes to reading coverage? These are some of the questions the Bears need to ask.

The most important part is going to be the interview process. The Bears need to find out what makes these guys tick. They won’t publicly broadcast that information, but we’ll hear the buzz. The Bears could fall in love with a quarterback here and that could change everything.

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