Mitchell Trubisky will be the 10th rookie quarterback to start against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium since the John Harbaugh era began in 2008. None of the previous nine have won.
That group of quarterbacks has an average passer rating of 56.5 and has thrown 13 interceptions and only three touchdowns (yes, 13 interceptions and three touchdowns). Is Mitchell Trubisky better than Cody Kessler, Zach Mettenberger, Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton, Brandon Weeden, Connor Shaw, Carson Wentz, DeShone Kizer and Geno Smith? That’s the hope (Wentz, so far, has been the best of the bunch).
But while Harbaugh came away impressed with what Trubisky put on film Monday night, expect him to find a way to pressure and confuse the rookie on Sunday afternoon.
“He looked good,” Harbaugh said. “He is athletic. He is a talented thrower. He can move – a very athletic guy. He made a lot of his plays with his feet and his arm on the run. He looks like a dangerous quarterback.”
The Ravens have nine interceptions this year, the second-highest total in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have a 53.7 completion percentage against Baltimore (only Kansas City has allowed a lower percentage), too.
Trubisky will have to operate the Bears’ offense on the road for the first time. The good news is the Bears have now had two weeks of continuity along their offensive line (Charles Leno-Josh Sitton-Cody Whitehair-Kyle Long-Bobby Massie), which should help the rookie as he uses silent snap counts for the first time as an NFL starting quarterback.
“Going to Baltimore will be a good challenge for us, so just got to get ready for a hostile crowd and everything that comes with that,” Trubisky said. “So we just need to be even more crisp in our operation and our communication in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and those types of things so we can be on the same page and execute clean.”
If the Bears are able to keep things close, it’s because a front seven that gets Danny Trevathan back this weekend can stop the run and force Joe Flacco into some sub-optimal passing downs. While the Bears don’t have an interception this year, Flacco has thrown six this year, so something will have to give there.
While Trubisky injected some energy into the Bears last week, it wasn’t good enough to win, and the Bears have lost their two road games this year by a combined 43 points. Until the Bears win on the road — the last time they did was December 27, 2015 — the prediction will be a defeat.
Prediction: Ravens 23, Bears 14