Regardless of how great the 2019 Bears defense is supposed to be, the success of the team will ultimately rely on the play of third-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. This could be a problem if Trubisky’s advanced metrics from the 2018 season are any indication of future performance. To be clear, I am convinced #10 for the Bears will be markedly better this season, however, an advanced look into his stats for the 2018 season do not paint the prettiest picture for an organization that has never truly had an elite passer under center.
So, before you make your Super Bowl reservations, I took a deep dive inside some numbers from last season that go way beyond your layman QB stats:
Deep Ball Accuracy
- Despite ranking #8 in all of the NFL in Deep Ball Attempts, Trubisky ranked #29 in Deep Ball Completion rate at 29.6%. This number shows Matt Nagy’s confidence in his QB and his own system, the problem is that the coaches’ confidence is not being rewarded by the signal caller. Deep balls are most often first read throws, which further makes this statistic problematic. I don’t anticipate the number on attempts changing much this season, so the accuracy on these throws must be better if the Bears are to return to the playoffs and make a deep run.
True Passer Rating
- This rating is essentially a QBR without unpressured throwaways and dropped passes. Trubisky ranked #26 last season in True Passer Rating – ouch. The vast difference in Trubisky’s QBR (72.8) vs. True Passer Rating (84.3) is mostly related to the amount of passes dropped by his receivers, a number in which the Bear pass catching corps was the 5th best in the league. For years, people would blame Jay Cutler’s lack of success on his lack of talented pass catchers – which was a fair point – the same cannot be said for Mitch.
True Completion Percentage
- The Bears QB was ranked 25th league-wide with a True Completion Percentage of 68.5%. Much like the True Passer Rating above, this advanced stat shows you just how good the Bears receivers were last year and just where Trubisky really ranked amongst the entire league.
- This stat grades a QB’s accuracy for each throw on a scale of 1-4. Mitch Trubisky ranked #17 overall in this category with a rating of 2.9. As a reference, a rating above 3.0 is considered highly accurate. As such, this is a very promising number; and one that I think will increase this year based not only on Mitch’s continued improvement, but also the health and improvement of the receiving unit and finally, the addition by subtraction of Jordan Howard.
Using the above mentioned advanced stats, as well as many, many more, two intriguing conclusions have been made:
- Mitch Trubisky’s career currently compares most favorably to…wait for it…Touchdown Teddy Bridgewater.
- Trubisky’s overall production, based on advanced metrics, places him as the equivalent of a late 4th round draft pick.
In sports, you are who your stats say you are, but I cannot believe there is any way I would want Bridgewater as the quarterback of this team instead of Trubisky. In fact, I wouldn’t even want a healthy 2015 version of Bridgewater over the Bears #10 right now.
Moreover, drafting Trubisky in the late 4th round would be the steal of the 2017 draft and probably most other drafts. Keep in mind that this projection is based only on the previous years’ stats and do not provide a career projection.
After digesting numerous advanced metrics and trying to make sense of it all, I am at the same place I was before I started, I’m just more certain now – Mitch Trubisky’s accuracy will be the key to a successful 2019 season for the Chicago Bears.