By Thomas Gibbons
We saw first-hand why Chase Daniel is the backup quarterback in the NFL. There is no way around it. I am not doubting his knowledge of the system and knowledge of the position, but the offense has not been the same the last two weeks. He did just enough to beat the Detriot Lions on Thanksgiving and he almost completed the comeback in New York, but the Bears missed Mitchell Trubisky tremendously.
The narrative for quite some time is Trubisky is not elite and still has a long way to go. That holds true. It takes a while to reach elite status. But in 10 games this season in Matt Nagy’s system, he has played pretty well. There are still glaring weaknesses, pocket presence, and deep-ball accuracy, but he is getting better. And he has the weapons to succeed. Not to mention one of the best defenses in the league to help him out. But with Trubisky out these past two games, there was going to be a dropoff.
Daniel went 1-1. He did the best he could. And he almost led a comeback to avoid a terrible loss to the then 3-8 Giants. But the Bears fumbled three times in overtime and that is not going to lead to success.
In 10 games this season, Trubisky has 20 touchdowns passes and nine interceptions to go along with 363 yards rushing and three scores. He has made some great strides and this offense helps him do that. And when you have Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton as targets, it’s going to help you out…a lot.
If any of you thought after the Bears beat the Detriot Lions on turkey day that Daniel was better than Trubisky, you are crazy. This is not Josh McCown outperforming Jay Cutler. Trubisky has proved this season that Ryan Pace made the right decision trading up to draft him. And Pace does not get enough credit for hiring Matt Nagy and so far it’s been a home run hire. You have seen those postgame locker room videos. Nagy is a high energy guy and the players love him and respond to him.
I am all-in on Trubisky. He has shown me enough that he can excel in this offense and Pace did a great job surrounding him with weapons. He runs the offense pretty well and again, he is only 10 games into the system. His comfortability will continue to grow and this offseason will be the biggest of his young career. He will work on his weaknesses and continue to improve his strengths. And Nagy will have a lot of game tape to evaluate what his QB does well and what he doesn’t and adjust the offense accordingly.
This Sunday, the Bears host the St. Louis Rams in primetime. It’s another huge game at Soldier Field, something fans have not been blessed with in the past few years. It’s going to be a battle. Trubisky vs. Jared Goff. Khalil Mack vs. Aaron Donald. And two the youngest coach Sean McVay and Matt Nagy putting their play-calling duties to the test. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a big test for the Bears.