Comparing Mitch Trubisky pre-and-post benching

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Mitch Trubisky has six starts with three coming pre-benching and three coming post-benching

We have been able to see two versions of Mitchell Trubisky this season. Mitch Trubisky has made six starts, with three coming to start the year and three others in the past three weeks. While the opponents are different is fair to note that he has played Detroit twice, Houston, Atlanta, and Packers and Giants defenses that are good or bad depending on the week. It is a pretty even sample.

Trubisky threw 86 balls to start the year, and 113 recently. What is different?

Raw stats

Trubisky is 51-86, a 59% completion passer with 560 yards, coming at 6.5 per attempt in the first three weeks. Over the past three, he is 76-113. That is up to 67% completion rate and 776 yards, which is 6.9 per attempt. He has 7 touchdowns and 2 picks post-benching and six touchdowns with three interceptions before being benched. It is clear there has been an improvement. What has it been?

Time to throw

Over the first three weeks, Trubisky was averaging 2.77 seconds per attempt according to PFF. In the past three weeks, Trubisky is getting the ball out in 2.32 seconds. This is a stark difference, and hard not to notice. No matter the opponents, he is being quicker his release.

Air Yard Differential

Air yards is where you can see an even bigger difference for Trubisky. To start 2020, he was averaging 10 air yards per attempt and completing just 4.1. After being benched, his completed air yards per attempt are down to 3. However, his air yards per attempt are down to 6.7 from 10 earlier in the season.

He is a -3.7 air yard differential after being benched, which was up at 5.9 before being benched. He is getting the ball out much faster and is completing lower air yard passes.

CPOE and Bad Throw Rate

Completion percentage over expectation uses NextGen Stats to determine quarterback accuracy. To start the season Trubisky was at -4. Over the past three weeks, he is at 0.5. Being positive is a huge improvement after being negative early into the year. This is likely aided by him pushing the ball down the field less and taking easier passes.

Bad throw rate backs this up. Over the first three weeks, he had a bad throw on 24% of his attempts. That number is down to 16%.

Expected Points Added

He is not just managing either but adding more value to his team’s scoring. In the first three weeks, he had just 0.4 expected points added per play. In the past three weeks, he is at 0.11.

He ranked 26th over the first three weeks, but 13th over the past three in expected points added. He is not necessarily winning these games, but he is no longer being a liability that hurts things.

Under Pressure

While Trubisky is getting the ball out quicker, and many will point to his good offensive line helping him the past three weeks, it is worth noting that Trubisky was under pressure 24% to start the year, and 27% the past three weeks. Many forget that the line did start playing good ball until James Daniels got hurt. Nick Foles dealt with the awful offensive line.

Still, while Trubisky has been under pressure at about the same rate, his reaction to pressure has been all of the difference in the world. Trubisky took a sack 29% of the time he faced pressure before being benched and that is down to 23%

Beyond that, he is completing 61% of his passes compared to just 23%. He has 156 and 1 touchdown with zero interceptions under pressure in the past three games compared to 35 yards total in the first three weeks.

Next. Duke Shelley first start review. dark

Trubisky was not under pressure often to start the year, but was getting himself into trouble and hurting himself. Now, he is staying calm and checking the ball with a quick pass to avoid pressure. You can easily write it off, but it is clear that the past three weeks have been better football than what we are accustomed to from Mitch Trubisky.