After Mitch Trubisky’s erratic performance Thursday night, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams offered a pointed scouting report of the Bears quarterback.
Even more than the Chicago Bears rising up to win the NFC North in his first season as head coach, Matt Nagy’s greatest achievement last year was the progress of quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky’s limitations are obvious, but a balanced and diverse offensive scheme helps any quarterback succeed.
On Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers, Trubisky looked like he had preseason rust to shake off. He completed 26 of 45 passes for 228 yards while taking five sacks and throwing a bad interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter that sealed a 10-3 loss for the Bears.
Trubisky made a lot of hay as a runner in 2018, putting up 421 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns on the ground. Thursday night, he had just 11 yards on three rush attempts.
The Packers’ defensive game plan clearly focused on making Trubisky operate from the pocket. After the game, cornerback Tramon Williams confirmed it.
Apart from Trubisky’s struggles, and accounting for his rush attempts, the Bears only ran the ball 12 times against Green Bay. In what was a one-score game throughout, 50 dropbacks to 12 rush attempts is not an ideal ratio. Counting the playoffs, the Bears are now 0-4 in games where Trubisky has thrown the ball more than 40 times. Drop that threshold to 35 or more pass attempts, and Chicago is 1-7 in those games (including the playoffs).
Going further, here’s how Trubisky’s attempts were distributed on Thursday night (Note: this game log adds up to 44 targets, but the broader point still holds).
Allen Robinson — 13 targets
Tarik Cohen — 10 targets
Mike Davis — seven targets
Taylor Gabriel — five targets
Cordarrelle Patterson — three targets
Adam Shaheen — two targets
Javon Wims — two targets
Anthony Miller — one target
David Montgomery — one target
Miller was limited by an ankle issue through training camp, so it’s safe to say he was limited but will be more involved going forward. Tight end Trey Burton also missed the game with a groin injury, but there’s still 35 targets to four guys. Robinson (seven receptions for 102 yards) and Cohen (eight catches for 49 yards) were productive, but a bad run-pass ratio and a top-heavy distribution of that volume is a recipe for putting up 254 yards and going 3-for-15 on third down.
Take away back-to-back throws to Robinson (22 yards) and Montgomery (27 yards) in the third quarter Thursday night, and Trubisky’s performance looks even worse. As Nagy goes back to the drawing board, at least there’s extra time heading into Week 2 against the Denver Broncos.