Is it time for the Bears to go back to Mitchell Trubisky? It just might be.
The Bears initially moved from Trubisky to Foles because of Trubisky’s poor job taking care of the football, and the fact that Nick Foles knows the offense better, but Foles has made just as many bad turnovers in his short stint as the Bears starter.
Lance Briggs didn’t mince words when assessing the decisions Foles made on Sunday in the Bears’ overtime loss to the Saints.
“They dig the hole so deep early on in the game,” Briggs said. “There were bad decisions by Nick Foles. There were some balls dropped by the New Orleans Saints that they should’ve held onto. They were indefensible in my opinion."
“You’ve got to be better with the ball you’ve got to be better with your decisions. As mad as we might be about you taking a sack, sometimes you need to take a sack, or get it out to the sideline. Because of those decisions that were made throughout the game, they were in a hole.”
Troy Aikman even questioned several times throughout the broadcast why the Bears moved on from Trubisky after watching Foles make errant throw after errant throw. In response, Olin Kreutz recognizes that it’s getting harder to understand the decision to bench Trubisky.
“You see Troy’s point, because Nick does throw bad interceptions sometimes and you wonder what the hell happened there,” Kreutz said. “When Mitch got benched for that bad interception, we’ve seen Nick make those kind of plays.”
“But coach Nagy said going into the offseason, ‘I want a quarterback who knows the offense better than me.’ He doesn’t think Mitch knows the offense like that. And the thing about Mitch Trubisky is, I can’t argue against what Troy is saying, because the offense hasn’t looked great with Nick out there either. But Mitch started the last 22, 23 games and the offense averaged under 18 points a game. So they’re taking a look at Nick Foles.”
Fact of the matter is, the offense has looked the same no matter who’s under center.
“This is not a different team with Nick Foles at quarterback,” Kreutz said. “This is not a different team. Since Foles became the quarterback they have lost three offensive lineman. I would argue James Daniels is their second-best football player on offense-- he’s out. Cody Whitehair is out today. Bobby Massie goes down early, you’ve got Spriggs in there who did a great job against Cam Jordan, except for that one sack he gave up.”
Considering those injuries to the line, and the fact that Foles is a pure pocket passer, it makes you wonder whether Trubisky’s mobility could help give the Bears’ receivers more time to get open. At the very least it may take some pressure off the new offensive lineman who are replacing the starters.
“Mitch Trubisky can create some space with his feet,” Briggs said. “He can move and create some more first downs. Nick doesn’t have that ability. One of the things for him is, ‘I’ve got to use my brain and my smarts, and when I turn to this third and this fourth read, I have to be able to pull the trigger even if it’s a smaller window. But I have to pull the trigger because this is how I can affect the game.”
The problem is forcing the ball on those decisions has backfired for Foles too many times.
In his 5.5 games this year, Foles has a less-than-impressive 8:7 TD:INT ratio. He’s thrown 233 balls giving him a 3% interception ratio. Compare that to Trubisky who sports a 6:3 TD:INT ratio in his 2.5 games played this year. He’s thrown 86 passes giving him a 3.5% interception ratio.
Despite all of that, Alex Brown is one man who’s not ready to go back to Trubisky.
“I’m not going to sit here and try to make an argument for Mitch,” Brown said. “I’m not going to do it.”
A game or two more like Sunday’s however, and the Bears may run out of time to figure out who’s best equipped to run the offense.