The Chicago Bears’ 2020 season was up and down. Despite the ebbs and flows they have gone through, they’ve earned themselves a spot in the postseason. They turned things around late in the season, much in part to Mitchell Trubisky’s play down the stretch.
Trubisky will have his work cut out for him in this wild-card matchup. He faces the New Orleans Saints’ defense, one of the best units in football. Trubisky will need to have one of his better games to escape the Superdome with a win. If he does play well, he could earn himself more than just a playoff victory.
Mitchell Trubisky has had a hot and cold season
It wasn’t always the thought that Mitchell Trubiksy would start in the playoffs for the Bears this year. Many thought that he would be on the way out of Chicago because of how he began the 2020 season. Being the starting quarterback, Trubisky struggled to produce anything for the Bears’ offense.
The Bears benched Trubisky in favor of Nick Foles. It took an injury to Foles’ hip against the Vikings for Chicago to go back to their second overall pick in 2017. Since he returned to the starting lineup, Trubisky has played some of the best football of his career.
Focusing on the last five games of the season, Trubisky has been exceptional. He’s completed over 70% of his passes in four of those five games per ESPN. He threw seven touchdown passes while only throwing three interceptions over that span. The Bears have averaged 31.2 points per game over their last five, signaling their offense is back on track.
Trubisky posted QBRs over 80 in his last two games, which hasn’t happened all year. Riding the bench must’ve done something within Trubisky, as he has turned into a different quarterback since. The Bears have changed their tune about his future also. They are now more open to bringing Trubisky back because of his improved play. Trubisky can have all the leverage going into the offseason given his contract situation.
Mitchell Trubisky can earn himself a big contract
The Bears didn’t pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option this past offseason, meaning he will become a free agent. With how he has played in the final month of the season, some teams might be interested in his services. The Bears surely will be, as they don’t have any better options at quarterback than him. He could earn himself even more money with an outstanding performance against the Saints.
A few teams outside of the Bears would be in the market for a quarterback this coming offseason. The New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and The Washington Football Team are teams that have no solidified answer at the quarterback position. There has been no reported interest in Trubisky from these teams, but that can change come Sunday night.
It is hard to determine how much money Trubisky would demand come this offseason. He has shown flashes of his potential but has yet to put all the pieces together. This recent five-game stretch has shown teams he is capable of being a starter. He could cement that narrative with a big-time performance against the Saints.
The Bears have “nothing to lose”
The Bears are going into this game as underdogs, which is ok with Trubisky. The fourth-year quarterback is eager to take the field, even suggesting the Bears offense take some shots at this Saints defense. “I think we definitely need to open it up a little bit. As far as staying aggressive, I like going for it on fourth down,” said Trubiksy per the Chicago Sun-Times.
That aggressive mindset shows the confidence Trubisky has in himself and his coach Matt Nagy. They both have trusted each other more, which has increased Trubisky’s performance. “I think he’s grown in that way . . . he has more confidence now in what we’re doing schematically. I think good coaches listen to players that have conviction about the plays they like,” said Nagy.
What has changed Chicago’s offense is their usage of David Montgomery, Allen Robinson, and Cole Kmet. They have involved all three in the gameplan more, along with having Trubisky move around in the pocket more frequently. The New Orleans defense allows the third-fewest yards per game in the NFL, so it will be important for Trubiksy to spread the wealth to his playmakers.
Mitchell Trubiksy said Chicago has “nothing to lose” going into this wild-card game against New Orleans. That might be the best way to approach the game because that allows him and the team to play free. In actuality, Trubisky has everything to lose and everything to gain with his playoff performance against one of the NFL’s top defenses.
All stats courtesy of ESPN