Chicago Bears: Should we have higher expectations for Mitch?

Mitchell Trubisky #10, Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Mitchell Trubisky #10, Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

What should we expect from the Chicago Bears quarterback on Sunday night?

Late on Friday afternoon, the Chicago Bears made official what everyone has known the entire week, and that is that Mitchell Trubisky will be the starting quarterback on Sunday night.

The Bears, who travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in primetime, will look to end a four-game skid and get back into the thick of the NFC playoff picture by turning to their former No. 2 overall pick. But what should we reasonably expect out of Trubisky? Is it fair to have higher expectations for him now that he has had seven weeks to assess his play?

The short answer is “no.” While fans are seemingly reinvigorated by the return of Trubisky, it is not reasonable to expect his play to be significantly better than the up and down style of play that led to his benching in the first place.

While it is true his mobility is a benefit behind a poor offensive line, it is not the elixir some might think it is. At the end of the day, in order for him to be markedly improved as a quarterback, he is going to have to have vastly improved his footwork and his ability to process defenses.

Unfortunately for Mitch, the latter, which is the most critical for him, is tough to improve while sitting on the sidelines and running the scout team.

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That doesn’t mean the offense can’t be better, but again, fans should temper expectations. While the run game was significantly better from a statistical perspective in the first three weeks (before Trubisky was benched), there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, they were playing three of the worst defenses in the entire league in the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons. Second, the offensive line in those first three games is not nearly the same as the group that will be trotted out there Sunday night. James Daniels has been lost for the season, and it appears the team could be without starting left tackle, Charles Leno, for the game.

While the line won’t look the same, Trubisky will have the benefit of feeding off more of the worst offenses in the league. As Mark Potash pointed out recently, after the Packers game, the Bears next four opponents rank T28, 23, 27, and 30 respectively.

The bottom line is the last seven weeks didn’t magically erase the flaws that led to Trubisky being benched back in Week 3.Improved playcalling can only help so much, especially with a depleted offensive line. So fans can be excited but should enter tonight’s game with reasonable expectations. The hope is that the offense is improved. How much remains to be seen.