Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has lost support, and perhaps now, his starting job. But at the very least, trends and history support his year four breakout.
Despite its reputation for being “meaningless,” those “dog day” Sundays at the end of a lost season do carry some weight. Think back to a different era of quarterback intrigue. In 2009, when Jay Cutler lit the world on fire in the final two games, and used that to create a backdrop for a memorable 2010. Or when the Chicago Bears defense warmed up at the end of 2000 to set up a 13-3 season in 2001.
In observing Trubisky, and all the hard lessons he had to learn, one has to wonder if he can do the same.
There’s something of an unwritten rule about athletes in general. By year three, habits and tendencies have formed, and front offices normally have an idea of exactly what they have — for better or worse. As Popeye the Sailor Man used to say, “I is what I is.” This year, we’ll find out if Trubisky has been eating his spinach.
So much is going against Trubisky at this point. One could probably make a case that he plays for and against the Chicago Bears at this point. For the first time since his rookie season, he’s going to be in a bonafide position battle, and against a former Super Bowl MVP. Perhaps he does not have the inside track?
Chicago Sun-Times writer Patrick Finley brought forth a pressing point recently: the job could already be Trubisky’s to lose, considering the COVID-19 pandemic means that offensive team activities are in jeopardy of being canceled. Plus, Nick Foles isn’t coming into this scheme as a spring chicken. His connections to Bill Lazor, Matt Nagy, and John DeFilippo in Philadelphia are enough to be concerned about.
Somewhere in a different world, I imagine Trubisky sitting somewhere in the dark, eyes glued to a clock that only those with $110 million in guaranteed money can afford. He’s sitting there, waiting for the clock to strike September — yes, this clock tracks time in months. Get with the times — anxiously awaiting the moment to free himself of the malaise, the criticism, the unfair comparisons. For a 25-year-old with this much-unfulfilled expectations, something has to give.
If Chicago’s wind is the only thing that has his back at this point, Trubisky can also look to history and trends to suggest that he could be able to turn a corner. There are four stats and trends in particular that support that. Let’s consider them.