Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster on Monday as a replacement for Jared Goff. By rule, Goff is unable to play in this week’s Pro Bowl game because the Rams are playing in the Super Bowl.
For Trubisky, being named to the game is not only important for him given this season but all of those involved with the Bears organization.
Heading into the 2018 season, Trubisky was the most important player on the Bears as many wondered if he was going to make a jump in his sophomore year.
General manager Ryan Pace dedicated the offseason in providing his most important draft pick with all the resources to be successful. Pace hired his head coach, signed multiple free agent talents, and used a top round draft pick on another wide receiver to give Trubisky the best opportunity to be great.
He would face scrutiny as he struggled to start the season as he failed to lead the Bears on a game-winning drive in the season opener and had more interceptions than passing touchdowns through the first three games. All would change in week four against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he had the best game ever by a Bears quarterback throwing for six touchdowns and passing for over 350 yards. The biggest criticism in Trubisky’s was his inability to throw downfield, but against the Buccaneers, he completed six passes of 20 yards or longer.
Following the week four game, Trubisky would have stretch in which he threw for over 300 yards and scored two or more touchdowns in a game. In October, he threw 11 touchdown passes to just four interceptions while also leading the Bears to a three and one record in the month.
Late in the season, he would struggle following a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games. In his first game back he was inaccurate throwing three interceptions and passing for less than 200 yards against the Rams. Trubisky would redeem himself as he averaged 214 passing yards, a quarterback rating of 85 or higher, and most important no interceptions in his final three games before the playoffs.
In the team’s lone playoff game against the Eagles, Trubisky biggest moment would come in the fourth quarter. Trailing the majority of the quarter, he would complete several passes over 20 yards or longer including a 21-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson giving the Bears 15-10.
His growth from the season opener to now was shown in the game’s final minute. The second-year quarterback would lead the Bears on a five play 33-yard drive giving his team to win the game with seconds left. Although the game ended with a loss, Trubisky showed that he could be a difference-making quarterback as he passed for 300 yards in his first post-season game.
Monday’s announcement is important also for Pace as he made the bold decision to trade and draft Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. His trading of multiple picks to move up one selection was questioned and even mocked as a fleecing on the San Francisco 49ers part. Pace was further questioned as many wondered if Trubisky was worth being the first quarterback taken in the draft.
The Pro Bowl honor is significant to head coach Matt Nagy as he was hired to get the most out of his young quarterback. He did just that as Trubisky’s numbers jumped significantly under Nagy’s tutelage. During his time in Kansas City as quarterbacks coach, he helped Alex Smith rejuvenate his career. Pace felt Nagy was the best offensive mind for his quarterback and one year later all three have been lauded for their achievements in 2018.
Trubisky now becomes the first Bears quarterback to be named to a Pro Bowl game since Jim McMahon did so following the1985 Super Bowl season. Quarterback futility has been a historic one in Chicago, but now that history has a chance to be rewritten given was has taken place with the first quarterback taken in last year’s draft.