The Bears Are Stuck in the Middle With Mitch Trubisky

Kyle Koster
Mitch Trubisky
Mitch Trubisky / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Mitch Trubisky was underwhelming again. The Bears offense was its usual lackluster self. Sunday night ended like many Sundays have ended before: with the Soldier Field masses searching for meaning, even if this particular defeat to Kansas City was meaningless for the home team. Patrick Mahomes just happened to pour salt in the wound by excelling and reminding Chicago that they could have had him under center instead of that guy selected at No. 2 from North Carolina -- who, honestly, has an unclear future.

Three years into the experiment, the Bears have to come to the conclusion that, much like Gob Bluth, they made a big mistake. Trubisky is not in the world inhabited by Mahomes or even the one where Deshaun Watson resides. He's a good enough game manager when he's using his legs to ride an elite defense to victory. Asked to do anything more than that, it gets sticky.

This season has brought a major regression. Trubisky's QB rating has sunk to 82.9 from 95.4. His QBR has plummeted from 70.8 to 41.5. His adjusted net yards/attempt is barely hovering above 5.1. Gone is the explosiveness in the passing game. Also absent has been the rushing component, as Trubisky has gained less than half his 2018 yardage this year.

A short-lived resurgence raised hopes that there was hope for this year and the future. The last two weeks have been a stark reminder of the gulf between the Chicago signal-caller and those who can be trusted to make -- and then win games in -- the playoffs.

There's no use rubbing it in. The guy is trying his best. He's become persona non grata from Schaumburg to South Holland and it's because he's just not up for the job. Bears brass must decide what to do next and it's not an enviable position.

They likely know -- behind closed doors -- that Mitch is not their guy. But moving on isn't so easy. It's tough to see how he would have any trade value, unless there's an genius offensive mind lurking who believes he can design a run-first offense around the troubled thrower. Ready-to-play quarterbacks don't grow on trees, and definitely not in the middle of the second round, when the franchise will get its first scheduled bite at the draft apple.

Matt Nagy has done enough to keep his job. So, too, has Ryan Pace. The coffers aren't all that deep to make a splashy free-agent pickup. Barring something extraordinary, Trubisky will be the guy again in 2020.

And that doesn't inspire confidence in a division home to Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and perhaps a healthy and motivated Matthew Stafford. What's going to magically happen to facilitate Chicago ascending to the top of the standings? What is Trubisky's ceiling, and is it even high enough to translate to significant winning?

On the other hand, is his floor low enough to result in abject disaster, especially with an above-average defense and special teams propping him up? And if another 7-9 or 8-8 year is in the cards, what's the answer then?

The Bears are stuck in the middle and will have to dance with the one they brought to the ball. Not a great place to be.