Bears

Should Mitch Trubisky be Week 10's Offensive Player of the Week?

Should Mitch Trubisky be Week 10's Offensive Player of the Week?

Mitch Trubisky had himself a day Sunday against the Detroit Lions. At least, he had himself a day compared to the games he's put on the board so far this season.

At first glance, his 173 yards and three touchdowns are solid if not spectacular. It's noteworthy any time a quarterback tosses three scores, but the underwhelming 173-yard output lessens the overall 'wow' factor of Trubisky's performance in the Bears' 20-13 win over the Lions. Unless, of course, you're NBC Sports' Peter King.

"With the weight of the world (and, presumably, the weight of every TV in Halas Hall) falling heavy on his shoulders, Trubisky suffered through a typically maddening first half, throwing for 15 yards in the first 25 minutes," King wrote on Monday. "But he recovered before halftime with one TD drive, and he threw lovely TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel in the third quarter. That was enough to silence the wolves (including the one typing these words) for at least another week. Hand it to Trubisky (16 of 23, 173 yards, three TDs, no picks, 131.0 rating) for performing under the greatest pressure a quarterback could have. You can’t tell me he wasn’t wondering deep down if the guys on his own team trusted him to walk their dogs. And he came through with a good performance in a 20-13 win over the Lions."

Is this where we're at with Trubisky? A game that seems like a typical day at the office for an above-average quarterback is suddenly a 'stop-the-presses moment' for a player who was hand-picked over two of the most jaw-dropping quarterbacks in the NFL?

There are two ways of looking at the Trubisky saga: If you're an optimist, you buy-in. You feel good about what you saw from No. 10 in Week 10 and think it's the beginning of a turnaround that's been a long time coming. If you're a pessimist, you're reacting to Sunday's game with nothing more than an it's-about-time exhale.

Either way, this drama is far from over. There are seven games left on the schedule; they're all do-or-die for both the Bears and Trubisky's future at Halas Hall.

Trubisky can enjoy a week of positivity and optimism. He's earned it. And if he stands tall in the pocket and delivers missiles against the Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 11? That optimism will slowly turn into confidence, which up to this point, has been hard to find with the Bears.

Bears tap into Utah's defense in latest 3-round NFL mock draft

Bears tap into Utah's defense in latest 3-round NFL mock draft

The 2019 college football regular season is over, which means the 2020 NFL draft season is right around the corner. Underclassmen are declaring by the day, all-star rosters are filling out and, of course, mock drafts are being published.

The really unique thing about the Bears in 2019 is how fluid their likely NFL draft needs have been. A few weeks ago, quarterback would've topped the list. Now? Not so much. Tight end, a position that's been non-existent in Chicago's offense all year, suddenly has two players (J.P. Holtz and Jesper Horsted) who've garnered some excitement.

Seasons like this year make trying to pinpoint which direction GM Ryan Pace will go in April's draft extremely challenging. According to the Draft Wire's latest three-round mock draft, the Bears will grab help for the secondary and offensive line in Round 2.

Their first selection (as of the start of Week 15) comes at No. 45 overall from the Raiders. Chicago uses that pick on Utah cornerback, Jaylon Johnson.

It's hard to argue this projection. The Bears may have a bigger need at cornerback by the time the draft rolls around than they do right now if they decide it's time to part ways with veteran starter Prince Amukamara. Chicago needs to make some difficult salary-cap decisions this offseason, and moving on from Amukamara would free up roughly $9 million in cap space. 

Johnson (6-0, 190) will be part of the second wave of cornerbacks to get drafted this year. He isn't a first-round talent, and barring an elite showing at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, he should be available in the middle portion of the second round.

The Bears land offensive line help at No. 50 overall in this mock draft via Tennessee's Trey Smith.

A former five-star recruit, Smith's talent is undeniable. It's first-round worthy. His medicals, however, are not.

After dealing with blood clots in his lungs in 2018, Smith returned to action this season and was once again a dominant force. He projects as an interior player in the NFL and would be an ideal target for a Bears team that needs to add more talent at guard in their effort to replace longtime starter, Kyle Long.

Smith's medical history is likely to push him into Day 3, however, at which point he'll qualify as one of this year's best value selections.

Sunday is Matt Nagy's chance to prove the Bears' changes are for real

Sunday is Matt Nagy's chance to prove the Bears' changes are for real

Matt Nagy thinks about the Packers a lot. 

He thinks about his first career game as an NFL head coach, at Lambeau Field, and how he’ll “never forget that day, that game, for so many different reasons.” 

He thinks about his first NFC North title, which was clinched when Eddie Jackson intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the end zone, avenging the season’s earlier loss.

And he thinks about Week 1 of this season, when millions of eyes tuned in on Opening Night to watch a supposed Super Bowl contender score three points, at home, in a loss to the Packers. 

“I try not to remember too much of that,” he said. “That was a rough one.”  

It just so happens that, this week, everyone else is thinking about the Packers too. On the surface level, it’s the 200th meeting in one the league’s most storied rivalries, and a pivotal game in this year’s race for the second Wild Card spot. There’s Aaron Rodgers, who Nagy called, “competitive as hell.” There’s a talented-and-maybe-underperforming defense, with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith on the edges creating matchup nightmares for an offensive line that’s undergone more change than anyone. 

“We knew what kind of players they were,” he added. “They’re not unknown anymore.” 

If you wanted to get esoteric, there’s a great redemption narrative to Sunday’s game too. The Packers came into Chicago and exposed the Bears’ starters – who, you’ll remember, sat out the preseason. Things would get worse – so much worse – but the book was out on Nagy’s Bears, and it took them three months to recover. 

“I just feel like we’re kind of in a rhythm now,” Mitch Trubisky said. “We’re a different team. There were some things that we had to go through in the first game and the beginning of the season that just didn’t go our way, and there’s things we definitely learned from as an offense. I just feel like we have a new-found identity of what we want to do and everybody is really locked into what they have to do within their job description on the offense.” 

Things have been different than Week 1, even if you couldn’t say that until Week 12. Nagy has admittedly found a better rhythm as a play-caller, and many of the issues that plagued the Bears in Week 1 haven’t been an issue lately. The tight end room is producing, they’re shifting through personnel groupings less, and the run game has stabilized – all vital components of the offense that best suits the 2019 Bears. It’s not what Nagy envisioned, but 202 ended up being formative in ways he never expected. 

“I feel like a better coach going through this for the players, for my coaches and just the way we communicate,” he said. “The honesty, the belief in one another; going through this is important and it'll help me in the long run, to be able to handle these type of situations when they arise again.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.