Statistical Projections for Mitch Trubisky’s First Game

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky /

The Trubisky Era has officially arrived in Chicago. What can fans expect in game one?

The day that Bears fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. Mitch Trubisky’s number has been called and he will make his first career start Monday against the Minnesota Vikings. Fans are excited to see the future of the franchise take the field, but what should they expect in Trubisky’s first game? Let’s take a look.

Looking at the Vikings defense, it’s a good one. There is plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball for Minnesota. The Vikings are also one of the league’s best at disguising coverages and pressure schemes, so Trubisky’s work will be cut out for him in that respect.

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The good news is the Vikings aren’t playing like the great defense they can be, they are merely playing like a good defense. They are 12th in yards allowed and 8th in points allowed. However, they’ve only forced three turnovers (23rd) and have only gotten to the quarterback five times (27th). That’s not exactly climbing Everest for Trubisky in his first game.

Offensively, the Bears are going to try to play their game. The Vikings run defense is excellent, but that won’t stop the Bears from trying to run the football and eat up the clock and avoid putting Trubisky in 3rd and long situations.

When Trubisky does throw, expect him to utilize Tarik Cohen, Kendall Wright, and the tight ends on a lot of short routes that don’t require a lot of complex reads. You should also expect Trubisky to be active in the pocket. Rollouts are easy reads for QBs to progress through. There are usually only two passing targets, with the third option to take what yards he can get on the ground or throw the ball away if it’s fully covered. Trubisky is mobile and athletic and Dowell Loggains can utilize this to make the rookie’s life easier and open up the offense. This was impossible to do with Mike Glennon who is as mobile as a 1-legged elephant.

Knowing that the Vikings have a solid defense and the Bears are going to try to see if they can establish the ground game, it’s unlikely that Trubisky puts up gaudy numbers. If the Bears fail to establish a ground game, they may consider getting away from it more in the second half if Trubisky looks comfortable in the offense.

I expect Trubisky to get off to a slow start as he gets his feet wet against an NFL-caliber players, something the Bears failed to allow him to do in the preseason (Trubisky saw a lot of third-string defenders) As he gets more comfortable throughout the season, we will see some big plays and big games from him. I wouldn’t expect as much on Monday as Loggains is going to have a simplified offense as to not overwhelm the rookie. While we should expect a lot of short passes and a heavy dose of Jordan Howard, I do expect the offense to look more professional and run smoother than it has.

Could Trubisky have a turnover free debut? Doubtful. Definitely expect him to turn it over once or twice. Between first game jitters and a solid defensive opponent, Trubisky’s numbers will be modest, but he will keep the offense moving and we should see a better performance than we have seen at the start of the season from Glennon.

Mitch Trubisky’s Debut- 17 of 29, 228 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 3 carries, 18 yards