Bears

Analytics: Mitch Trubisky had 5th-lowest grade on offense in Bears' Week 2 victory

Analytics: Mitch Trubisky had 5th-lowest grade on offense in Bears' Week 2 victory

Super Bowl contenders are usually made up of a blend of top-tier quarterback play and a consistent, if not great, defense. The Chicago Bears have half of that equation going for them in 2019. 

The defense, led by Khalil Mack, has allowed just 24 points over two games, including Week 1's 10-point performance against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Normally, defensive performances like the Bears' would result in a 2-0 record. But with the offense led by Mitch Trubisky struggling so mightily, they're lucky to be sitting at 1-1.

Chicago won Week 2's nail-biter against the Broncos thanks in large part, once again, to Mack and the defense. Add a last-second field goal by Eddy Pineiro, and the special teams unit is doing their part too. Trubisky, on the other hand, remains a work in progress.

In fact, Trubisky was the Bears' fifth-lowest graded player on offense, per Pro Football Focus. His 53.1 grade ranked ahead of only Mike Davis, Tarik Cohen, James Daniels and Trey Burton.

Davis and Burton played a combined 41 snaps, so an argument can be made Trubisky was actually one of the three worst starters on the offensive side of the ball. It's never a good thing for the starting quarterback to score that poorly.

You don't have to be an analytics-truther to conclude Trubisky wasn't at his best Sunday. He completed just 59% of his passes, totaled just 120 yards and failed to throw a touchdown for the second-straight week. He was inaccurate at times and again struggled with his composure and pocket presence.

He did save his best for last, however. His 25-yard strike to Allen Robinson with time expiring in the fourth quarter set up Pineiro's game-winning field goal and may have been the confidence-building moment he needed to turn the corner this season. 

Through two games, Trubisky has a putrid 48.9 grade from PFF, which ranks second-worst on the team.

Under Center Podcast: Trubisky's trust and would you rather be the Bears or Rams?

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Trubisky's trust and would you rather be the Bears or Rams?

JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and John "Moon" Mullin convene at Halas Hall to discuss how to balance Mitch Trubisky's special moments against the rest of his play, including a comparison to Jay Cutler (2:35).

Then the trio breaks down Trubisky's trust - or lack thereof - in his receivers (7:50) and debates whether you'd rather be the Bears or the Rams moving forward (19:20).

They finish up by wondering how much a win on Sunday would mean to this team (25:35).

Listen to the episode here here or via the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast

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NFL and NFLPA reportedly making progress towards new labor agreement

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USA Today

NFL and NFLPA reportedly making progress towards new labor agreement

According to a report by Mark Maske of The Washington Post, the NFL and NFLPA “have made meaningful progress towards a new labor agreement.” 

There is plenty to unpack as negotiations progress, but the most significant tidbit from this news is that there is reportedly a real possibility the eventual agreement will expand the NFL’s regular season schedule to 17 games (while eliminating games from the preseason).

Such an agreement would represent a compromise between the league and the NFLPA. According to Maske, owners had been pushing for an 18-game regular season, but the players union has remained reluctant to budge off the current 16-game schedule. Maske flagged the league’s rookie compensation scale and current marijuana policy as areas in which the owners could give ground in order to persuade the players to agree to an expanded schedule.

The report also lists a 14-team playoff field as a potential inclusion in the agreement.

The current NFL CBA — which was agreed to in 2011 — is valid through the end of the 2020 season, but Maske reports that there is “optimism” a new agreement might be reached by the end of the 2019-20 postseason.