It's been a tough scene for Mitch Trubisky in Year 3 of his NFL career, to say the very least. The Chicago Bears traded up to land him with the second-overall pick in 2017, despite Trubisky having just 13 collegiate starts at the University of North Carolina and in the same in the same draft that featured both Deshaun Watson and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Needless to say, he's not gotten off to the same roaring start as the other two, and throwing for only 348 yards with zero touchdowns to one interception in the first two weeks of the 2019 season certainly wasn't helping his brand. Following a slow start in the Week 3 battle with the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, he'd get a bit of a reprieve from his justified doubters after picking apart a secondary that had no answer for Trubisky or, consequentially, wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.
Trubisky tortured a unit led by Landon Collins and Josh Norman with his efficiency and accuracy for most of the evening, finishing with 231 passing yards on 25 for 31 passing with three touchdowns and only one interception. All three of those touchdowns went to Gabriel, who had a field day in Landover. Collins said before the contest that the Redskins goal was to force the game onto Trubisky and they were able to do just that, but got mostly embarrassed once they achieved that goal.
Has Mitchell Trubisky finally turned the corner? John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough join Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson to break down the Bears' QB, and the guys also size up coaches on the hot seat, rank the remaining unbeatens and more; subscribe here for your daily dose of NFL goodness.
His passer rating of 116.5 in Week 3 was the highest of the season thus far en route to a 31-15 victory that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. Was his performance on the national stage a watershed moment for 2019? Possibly, but Trubisky is more focused on continually building upon it.
"I don't know if I'd call it a breakthrough yet," he said, via NBC Sports Chicago. "We gotta keep getting better and keep growing."
Trubisky's sole mistake was an ill-advised throw to Robinson late in the third quarter that resulted in Norman's first interception of the season. Although the game was well in hand at that point with a score of 28-9, the third-year QB isn't shrugging off the play.
"Would like to have that one back," he said.
Needless to say, Bears head coach Matt Nagy is pleased with Trubisky's strong outing, but also wants to see more. Although the defense played with their hair on fire -- led by Khalil Mack, Danny Trevathan and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- the offense did stall in the second half. After scoring 21 of the 28 first half points, they were only able to muster a field goal over the last two sessions.
Nagy knows if the Bears are going to repeat as NFC North champs in such a brutal division, they'll need to remain consistent throughout each and every game.
"I felt better today," he said. "It still doesn't feel -- it's still not where it needs to be, but I definitely felt better. We were able to get in a rhythm. And we were getting first downs, and any time you get first downs you can get to the next call on the play sheet.
"…I thought rhythm-wise, it was our best in the three games."
As far as Trubisky goes, it's possible his play in Week 3 could be a trampoline for the rest of the season.
"He did his thing," Robinson said. "He went out there [and] he was in command the whole time. I feel like from an offensive standpoint we were in control the whole game."
The 2-1 Bears, who scored a combined 19 points in their first two outings, can at least smile for now about Trubisky and the offense.