Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers heading in different directions

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

Trubisky takeover

Look, before the hate mail starts flowing in, understand I am in no way suggesting that Mitch Trubisky is better than Aaron Rodgers. However, what I am saying is that these two quarterbacks are at distinctly different stages of their career.

The 34-year-old Rodgers entered the league in 2005 and will begin his 14th NFL season this year. During that time, he has been dominant and is considered the second-best quarterback of his era behind Tom Brady. However, with the exception of the aforementioned Brady, all good things must eventually come to an end.

The table below shows that as good as Rodgers has been over his career, his numbers have noticeably declined in the last few seasons.

Beyond Rodgers declining numbers — which is expected of any quarterback at his age — there are a few other factors that could accelerate the drop-off this season. First, the Packers did nothing to improve their running game. They’ll begin the year with some combination of Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, who is suspended to start the season.

Additionally, the right side of the offensive line comes with some question marks as well. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is good when healthy, but is coming off a torn ACL. At guard, is Justin McCray, who started only eight games last season at multiple positions. Will this line hold up and keep Rodgers off his back? For their sake it better, especially with the defenses he will face in the division.

Meanwhile, Trubisky is entering his second year with a host of offensive weapons and the best offensive line the team has had in a few years. Not to mention those offensive weapons are locked up for the immediate future, meaning this nucleus will be together throughout their competitive window.

He’s also finally in a modern NFL offense which will accentuate his strengths. The importance of having the quarterback, head coach, and core nucleus on all the same timeline. Make no mistake, this whole thing hinges on Trubisky.

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The Bears now have enough talent on both sides of the ball to make the playoffs this year. If Trubisky can be serviceable this season, they have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. If the Bears have hit on Trubisky? Well, then you’re talking about the start of a run the likes of which Bears fans have not seen in a long, long time.

And let’s be honest, take away Aaron Rodgers and they are a .500 team at best. Even with arguably the second-best quarterback of his generation, they have only managed to squeeze out one Super Bowl. Why? They have failed to surround him with a quality team.

And when you take away the straw that stirs the entire organization, you’re left with a mediocre team. There is no Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings like there was when Brett Favre moved on, and that’s a huge problem for the Bears’ biggest rivals.