Chicago Bears: How to solve their apparent “quarterback problem”

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
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The NFL Draft is just days away the Chicago Bears don’t seem to have too many needs. In fact, there really aren’t any major ones.

It just depends on who you ask.

Anyone who understands the state of the roster knows that the only areas of need are a defensive back, running back, outside linebacker/edge rusher, perhaps a guard, and, of course, kicker (unless you really like Redford Jones or Chris Blewitt).

That being said, there was a bit of buzz on Twitter recently: a raging battle between Chicago Bears Twitter and Pro Football Focus.

This all started with something of an innocent tweet from Sports Illustrated analyst Andy Benoit, pointing out that the Bears are in a good position from a roster standpoint:

Fair point. As of now, I can accept this because they aren’t entirely balanced offensively and defensively. They surely could use some extra depth at some positions because they’re an injury or two from being in dire straits. Field Yates of ESPN echoed that comment that they “don’t have a single glaring need on offense or defense“.

However, the conversation did not stop there. Sam Monson of PFF simply couldn’t help himself and felt the need to take a jab at the Bears, their fan base, and above all, their starting quarterback:

The context to this tweet is that PFF does not think very highly of Mitchell Trubisky. In fact, they ranked him as their 30th quarterback…out of 33 qualifying candidates. Some notable names they have ranked ahead of him (with their respective PFF rating) are as follows:

  • Andy Dalton, 12th: I’ll cut the “Red Rocket” some slack because his team was an absolute joke last year. But if I have the choice of him or Trubisky as my starter, it’s practically a no-brainer. Besides, his postseason stats are dog doo-doo (one touchdown, six picks, a 55.7% completion percentage, and a 57.8 QBR).
  • Kirk Cousins, 14th: Yes, the same overpaid Kirk Cousins who is incapable of beating a team with a winning record. Great passing numbers augmented with hardly any semblance of a clutch gene. A gene that Trubisky showed several times last year.
  • Marcus Mariota, 17th: He barely topped 2,500 passing yards with only 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions!!! For reference, Trubisky had a 24:12 ratio. Also, he wasn’t even considered the focal point of his offense down the stretch. That title belonged to Derrick Henry. It’s noteworthy because it was done to protect Mariota from making mistakes.
  • Derek Carr, 19th: He had career-highs in completion percentage (68.9%) and yardage (4,049). Impressive numbers that look less impressive given he had one of the lowest average depth of target in the league. That’s what checkdowns and shallow crossers will get you. He also threw the ball away on fourth down, but I guess didn’t really hurt his PFF rating.
  • Joe Flacco, 20th: How does a guy who lost his job to the 31st-ranked quarterback rate higher than a second year QB who was greater in every statistical category? Well, maybe not every stat. I guess career earnings don’t count as a “statistical category”…
  • Nick Mullens, 27th: Laughable in the sense that there’s no team in the league that would rather have Mullens as their starter over Trubisky. If there was such a team, their front office would be launched into outer space. He’s not even the best quarterback on his team…
  • Eli Manning, 28th: Even more laughable. The dude had a high completion percentage because he couldn’t accurately throw a ball past 20 yards and checked down to Saquon Barkley all the time every single game. He’s actually a reason why his team dealt Odell Beckham Jr. and why they’re going nowhere for the next decade. Or at least until Dave Gettleman is canned.
  • Blake Bortles, 29th: The fact that these three are all ranked in order ahead of Trubisky is an absolute atrocity. Nothing more repulsive than Chris Simm‘s lowest-ranked quarterback in the league just beating out Trubisky. For crying out loud, this guy was benched for CODY KESSLER.

I could dissect the entirety of the list (mainly the red flags), but I think you get the picture. Trubisky’s blurb on their list is…interesting:

Overall Grade: 63.0

Yes, Trubisky plays quarterback for a playoff team in 2018, but the Bears’ trip to the postseason isn’t a product of stellar play from their second-year signal-caller. His turnover-worthy play rate (3.46) is high, especially when considering he ranks near the middle of the pack in big-time throw percentage (4.4%). He takes risks for too few rewards when pushing the ball downfield.

What is “big-time throw percentage” and how does one calculate it? But you know what? Maybe those guys over in Cincinnati are on to something. So what I’ve done is come up with is a list of ways the Bears can fix their massive quarterback “problem”. I’m sure the folks over at PFF will agree.