Can Mitchell Trubisky break Baltimore’s streak of dominance against rookie QBs?

Can Mitchell Trubisky break Baltimore’s streak of dominance against rookie QBs?

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

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”

That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you


That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you

So apparently John Fox is getting bored.

The former Bears head coach who led the team to three consecutive last-place seasons from 2015-17 just signed with ESPN as a NFL studio analyst.

He’ll be getting paid to dish out insider information on players and what’s happening on the field — details that frustrated Bears fans could not get out of the often elusive Fox

This is great news if you had a void in your heart that only John Fox quotes could fill — especially in case his “We don’t know exactly what we’re doing” and "Sometimes it's hard to measure what's behind the left nipple"  hot takes weren’t cutting it anymore

But more importantly, Fox’s new position brings up a new burning question: What ex-Bear will be a better analyst?

What will the Fox say? Will he be able to muster more than 10 words out of Jay? The NFL season needs to get here sooner.