WEEK 4 RE-WATCH: Trubisky's 6 TD Game

Outlaw Josey Cutler

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After unintentionally re-igniting the mild controversy over what Trubisky's play during the first 3 weeks meant for the Bears, this was a sweet re-watch that was so much fun to relive this weekend. Not long ago, I started a thread asking what game was Trubisky's best of 2018. Most had later games in the year (DET/GB/MIN), but a couple had this game down as their vote. Back then, I respectfully disagreed because while it was his best statistically (zero question there), he faced a bad defense that played even lower than their usual standards. Do I still feel that way after a recent deep rewind?

FIRST HALF SUMMARY:

Same old story that never gets old: first CHI offensive drive is a TD. But what is this? Trubisky is making good pre-snap reads. On 3rd and 1, he sees the middle free of extra bodies and steps back before the snap yelling "KILL KILL KILL" and then QB sneak for the first down. On 2nd and 10, he sees two extra bodies in the middle (one is a safety doing a late run-up between Whitehair and Kush. He doesn't audible but read option fakes to Howard up the middle and runs for 23 between the outside rusher and past the defense that bit on Howard. That 39 yard TD pass to Burton was on TB pure and simple. Burton's guy bit on a basic double move and fell down. But Trubisky seems much more aware than he has been all year.

How does Fangio stop the narrative of Fitz"magic"? Coming in, the CHI offense was seen as sputtering and a possible letdown for an elite contending Defense. Coming in, Fitzpatrick had thrown 400 + yards each week for 3 weeks - an historic feat matched by no other QB in history. With this front 4, not much scheming is needed. Even with 3 step drops, Fitz is facing heavy pressure and trying to keep composure. The second 3 and out for TB was helped by OJ Howard holding Mack and Fitz had been trying short dink and dunks to get 3rd and shorts but even with that strategy, OJ Howard had to hold. But Fitz does hit Deshaun Jackson for 48. Jackson runs to mid level depth and both Smith and Trevathan are underneath. Toliver played outside zone while Deshaun cut to the middle and was wide open. Busted coverage and it looks like Toliver was at fault: if Deshaun is the only WR outside facing you and cuts in, I am thinking you don't stay outside in a zone where not a soul even is. Anyway that is the only TB highlight of the half. Because when Fitzpatrick comes back out, Fangio then had Mack and Floyd drop back in coverage and it looked at first like there would be 4 rushers with 7 in the box but ended up 3 rushers with 0 in the box and Fitz had nowhere to throw on 1st and 2nd down. Then on 3rd, the rush attack is back and Mack gets another fumble-sack. Historic having one sack-fumble in each game of first 4 weeks by the way.

Trubisky was on fire. He looked like he knew what to do pre-snap on every drive. Even the one 3 and out he had in the 1st was just a great play by TB on 3rd down that you tip your hat. Now I want to STRESS here: Trubisky was nearly perfect so I am taking zero away from him when I say also that TB defense had major breakdowns in basic pass defense 101.

Trubisky had 7 passing plays over 20 yards each in the first half. That is staggering. the first was the 39 yard TD to Burton where it is a fact that Burton's guy fell down. So TB is on the hook for that one. The 33 yarder to Gabriel and the 35 yarder to Cohen and the 45 yarder to Burton were all busted zones. The LBers played shallow for no viewable reason leaving the secondary outnumbered within 2 seconds after the snap. The fundamentals as I understand them is for the LB to go to the deepest part of their zone and take away the mid level "gimme" throws and then work short but TB LB were flat footed and playing short first and then chasing the open guys after the ball goes by them. Those 3 big plays I put on TB but the Bellamy TD where the announcers also blamed TB, I give full credit to Trubisky. He pump faked (!!) to Cohen for the easy TD to wide open Bellamy.

Before anyone gets salty about blaming TB more than praising "10Gawd" I will also follow up with this observation: Drive 3 for the offense in 1st quarter and up 7-0, TB played defense as well as you reasonably can given their talent. Trubisky read the field and took what was given. All his throws were 10 and 9 yards only. The 14 yard TD to AR was a beauty throw and my personal favorite throw of this game. THAT was Trubisky throwing like a goddamn NFL QB and not TB fucking up as he reads.

One last interesting fact before I go to the second half: The Bears offense had 67 yards passing and 64 yards rushing after the first quarter! Nagy in the 1st quarter drives had a balanced mix of passes and runs with mostly Cohen. Trubisky sold his handoffs on PA in the second quarter really well. Trubisky would throw 222 yards in the second quarter alone (!) showing how aggressive Nagy gets when he has a D thinking about run/pass balance and how devastating his philosophy is when he puts the foot to the gas.

SECOND HALF SUMMARY:

Chicago wins the second half 10 - 7. What is most impressive is how dominant the defense really stayed all game long. Winston was constantly hurried and pressured by a few Bears not even named Mack or Hicks (got ejected in the 2nd for bumping an official). After posting 1 sack , 1 FF and 1 INT on Fitz, Winston was under fire all second half and kept his composure pretty well despite 3 more sacks and 2 more INTs all with Hicks out as well.

Nagy did a great job calling plays to stay productive but not take stupid risks. I think this would have been his best game as a HC but I am unsure due to his mysterious end-of-first-half clock management and philosophy. He seemed unsure if he would go for the jugular or go for clock killing. It worked out just fine but it was odd letting those seconds go, calling TO and going conservative when you should have either let more time go or let no time go and no huddle for TD shots.

Anyway, a great day in Bears history. I wonder if those who say Hill and Kelce "make" Mahomes consider if Cohen helped "make" Trubisky on this day with his 174 yards rushing/ receiving at 4.1 YPC and 17.3 YPR? Burton and Gabriel had awesome numbers too.

Anyway, I will reserve my judgment on the "best Trubisky game" but no one can honestly say that TB didn't help Trubisky look great by sucking ass and playing out of zone and miscommunicating who has Cohen with 2 sometimes 3 on him leaving someone wide open. It's no criticism on Trubisky who I was hoping would get NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Goff deserved it by looking so good vs. MIN and Trubisky had a much softer D but 6 TDs is 6 TDs and had me wondering where the vote would end up.
 

Starion

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Another great write up. Thanks.

1945


Not all defenses will screw up as much as TB, but many great points you made indicate more than just "game managing" is coming out of Trubs & pals.


Behind the offensive explosion, the Chicago Bears Defense punched that "Fitz-magic" right in their stupid faces. Did it again to Goff & Rams later on.
 
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gallagher

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Good quarterbacks get glorified when beating up on shitty defenses. And at the end of the day, it's absolutely correct to shrug and say that 6 TDs is impressive for anyone for any reason.

So yeah, a lot of it felt like pitch-and-catch; that's what he's supposed to do when he has such opportunities. This game proved that we have every weapon needed to capitalize on a moment. Not my favorite Trubisky performance by any means, but it was my favorite team game.
 

Rory Sparrow

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Its interesting to me that in a decade of starting for the Bears, the most TDs Jay Cutler ever had in a game is 4. And even on that rare occasion (happened only 3 times), Cutler was simply trading scores and trying to keep pace with the opposing QB (which was a bizarre assortment of Favre/Vikings, Vick/Eagles, and Culpepper/Lions).

Point being is that in the 10 years prior to Trubisky, Cutler never had a game where he came out and put the opponent away. That is amazing to me. I think Trubisky putting up 6 TDs in a rout gave everyone belief that the Bears have a potentially powerful offense...one that can win games. For whatever reason, Trubisky's performance against TB gets downplayed, but its unique in terms of recent Bears history. It was an outstanding game.
 

Bearly

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It was like the seas parting and a huge relief. When I evaluate Mitch's year, I throw away this game and the LA outliers but just seeing that happen brought some comfort and not just in the actual plays but with it came a new calmness and change of demeanor for our young play caller.

Mitch needs a bit more of 'I've been here before' to him. Of course, you usually have to have been there before to feel it. I'll be hoping for more calm assassin behind center this year. Suspect it will take a few games again before we see it all clicking at the next level. Wonder if we'll notice.

Nagy is probably getting antsy to release his beast of an O and may come out of the blocks firing. If we click early, Mitch will likely be up to speed by the time opposing D's start to catch up.
 
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gwharris2254

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After unintentionally re-igniting the mild controversy over what Trubisky's play during the first 3 weeks meant for the Bears, this was a sweet re-watch that was so much fun to relive this weekend. Not long ago, I started a thread asking what game was Trubisky's best of 2018. Most had later games in the year (DET/GB/MIN), but a couple had this game down as their vote. Back then, I respectfully disagreed because while it was his best statistically (zero question there), he faced a bad defense that played even lower than their usual standards. Do I still feel that way after a recent deep rewind?

FIRST HALF SUMMARY:

Same old story that never gets old: first CHI offensive drive is a TD. But what is this? Trubisky is making good pre-snap reads. On 3rd and 1, he sees the middle free of extra bodies and steps back before the snap yelling "KILL KILL KILL" and then QB sneak for the first down. On 2nd and 10, he sees two extra bodies in the middle (one is a safety doing a late run-up between Whitehair and Kush. He doesn't audible but read option fakes to Howard up the middle and runs for 23 between the outside rusher and past the defense that bit on Howard. That 39 yard TD pass to Burton was on TB pure and simple. Burton's guy bit on a basic double move and fell down. But Trubisky seems much more aware than he has been all year.

How does Fangio stop the narrative of Fitz"magic"? Coming in, the CHI offense was seen as sputtering and a possible letdown for an elite contending Defense. Coming in, Fitzpatrick had thrown 400 + yards each week for 3 weeks - an historic feat matched by no other QB in history. With this front 4, not much scheming is needed. Even with 3 step drops, Fitz is facing heavy pressure and trying to keep composure. The second 3 and out for TB was helped by OJ Howard holding Mack and Fitz had been trying short dink and dunks to get 3rd and shorts but even with that strategy, OJ Howard had to hold. But Fitz does hit Deshaun Jackson for 48. Jackson runs to mid level depth and both Smith and Trevathan are underneath. Toliver played outside zone while Deshaun cut to the middle and was wide open. Busted coverage and it looks like Toliver was at fault: if Deshaun is the only WR outside facing you and cuts in, I am thinking you don't stay outside in a zone where not a soul even is. Anyway that is the only TB highlight of the half. Because when Fitzpatrick comes back out, Fangio then had Mack and Floyd drop back in coverage and it looked at first like there would be 4 rushers with 7 in the box but ended up 3 rushers with 0 in the box and Fitz had nowhere to throw on 1st and 2nd down. Then on 3rd, the rush attack is back and Mack gets another fumble-sack. Historic having one sack-fumble in each game of first 4 weeks by the way.

Trubisky was on fire. He looked like he knew what to do pre-snap on every drive. Even the one 3 and out he had in the 1st was just a great play by TB on 3rd down that you tip your hat. Now I want to STRESS here: Trubisky was nearly perfect so I am taking zero away from him when I say also that TB defense had major breakdowns in basic pass defense 101.

Trubisky had 7 passing plays over 20 yards each in the first half. That is staggering. the first was the 39 yard TD to Burton where it is a fact that Burton's guy fell down. So TB is on the hook for that one. The 33 yarder to Gabriel and the 35 yarder to Cohen and the 45 yarder to Burton were all busted zones. The LBers played shallow for no viewable reason leaving the secondary outnumbered within 2 seconds after the snap. The fundamentals as I understand them is for the LB to go to the deepest part of their zone and take away the mid level "gimme" throws and then work short but TB LB were flat footed and playing short first and then chasing the open guys after the ball goes by them. Those 3 big plays I put on TB but the Bellamy TD where the announcers also blamed TB, I give full credit to Trubisky. He pump faked (!!) to Cohen for the easy TD to wide open Bellamy.

Before anyone gets salty about blaming TB more than praising "10Gawd" I will also follow up with this observation: Drive 3 for the offense in 1st quarter and up 7-0, TB played defense as well as you reasonably can given their talent. Trubisky read the field and took what was given. All his throws were 10 and 9 yards only. The 14 yard TD to AR was a beauty throw and my personal favorite throw of this game. THAT was Trubisky throwing like a goddamn NFL QB and not TB fucking up as he reads.

One last interesting fact before I go to the second half: The Bears offense had 67 yards passing and 64 yards rushing after the first quarter! Nagy in the 1st quarter drives had a balanced mix of passes and runs with mostly Cohen. Trubisky sold his handoffs on PA in the second quarter really well. Trubisky would throw 222 yards in the second quarter alone (!) showing how aggressive Nagy gets when he has a D thinking about run/pass balance and how devastating his philosophy is when he puts the foot to the gas.

SECOND HALF SUMMARY:

Chicago wins the second half 10 - 7. What is most impressive is how dominant the defense really stayed all game long. Winston was constantly hurried and pressured by a few Bears not even named Mack or Hicks (got ejected in the 2nd for bumping an official). After posting 1 sack , 1 FF and 1 INT on Fitz, Winston was under fire all second half and kept his composure pretty well despite 3 more sacks and 2 more INTs all with Hicks out as well.

Nagy did a great job calling plays to stay productive but not take stupid risks. I think this would have been his best game as a HC but I am unsure due to his mysterious end-of-first-half clock management and philosophy. He seemed unsure if he would go for the jugular or go for clock killing. It worked out just fine but it was odd letting those seconds go, calling TO and going conservative when you should have either let more time go or let no time go and no huddle for TD shots.

Anyway, a great day in Bears history. I wonder if those who say Hill and Kelce "make" Mahomes consider if Cohen helped "make" Trubisky on this day with his 174 yards rushing/ receiving at 4.1 YPC and 17.3 YPR? Burton and Gabriel had awesome numbers too.

Anyway, I will reserve my judgment on the "best Trubisky game" but no one can honestly say that TB didn't help Trubisky look great by sucking ass and playing out of zone and miscommunicating who has Cohen with 2 sometimes 3 on him leaving someone wide open. It's no criticism on Trubisky who I was hoping would get NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Goff deserved it by looking so good vs. MIN and Trubisky had a much softer D but 6 TDs is 6 TDs and had me wondering where the vote would end up.
Wow !!! Awesome write-up Ty
 

Outlaw Josey Cutler

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All I can do is roll my eyes when people want to jump all over a quarterback for missing open reads yet in the same breath want to dismiss a game where the same guy reads a defense like a book and shreds them. Can't have it both ways.
Exactly correct. However, our prior conversation was a different context: which game was the best performance Trubisky played at which point I factored in the falling down/busted coverages in TB that didn't happen when he faced more disciplined and better defenses.
 
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