With Sunday Night Football’s GOAT campaign running all week to promote this Sunday’s marquee matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, we got to thinking about Bears GOATs. And we realized, we may actually be watching one right now.
Believe it or not, Mitchell Trubisky is on pace to have the greatest season for a quarterback in Chicago Bears history. And if he continues to develop—and stays healthy—he could end up with the greatest career in franchise history, too. Let’s start by looking at the single season records.
Erik Kramer put up the most passing yards (3,838) and passing touchdowns (29) in one season in 1995. That year the Bears finished 9-7, but lost a tiebreaker to the Atlanta Falcons and missed the playoffs.
This season, Trubisky has thrown for 1,814 yards and 15 TDs through 7 games. That puts him on pace to crush Kramer’s records with 4,146 yards and 34 TDs. Still not convinced? Let’s dig into the career records.
Right now, Jay Cutler sits atop most of the Bears all-time QB records, due in large part to the fact that he’s had one of the longest careers under center in Chicago. Over eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler amassed 23,443 yards and 154 touchdowns, each of those numbers franchise records. After 19 starts, Trubisky is sitting at 4,007 yards and 22 touchdowns.
If Trubisky keeps that exact same pace, he would break Cutler’s passing yards record in about 112 games—or seven seasons—and Cutler’s touchdowns record in about 134 games—or just over eight seasons. And if Trubisky continues to develop in Matt Nagy’s offense, it’s not hard to imagine he’ll break those records even sooner.
If you want to take longevity out of the equation, you can point to a couple of performance-based metrics: QB rating and completion percentage. As it stands, Trubisky is actually the leader in career QB rating among quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 500 passes. His 86.1 rating just edges out Cutler at 85.2.
The margin for the completion percentage record is even tighter with Cutler at 61.8 percent and Trubisky at 61.6 (again limiting the list to quarterbacks who’ve attempted more than 500 passes).
We can’t forget championships either, arguably the most important mark of a GOAT. Sadly, for the Bears franchise, that bar is set pretty low with Jim McMahon leading the way at one. If Nagy, Trubisky and the vaunted defense can put a championship season together, Trubisky immediately jumps to the short list of Bears greats.
Finally, one last critical factor in judging a player’s GOAT-worthiness is their nickname. MJ is “His Airness” and of course he’s the original “GOAT.” LeBron is “The King,” Gretzky “The Great One,” Ruth “The Great Bambino” or “The Sultan of Swat.” You get the point.
So how about Cutler? He was known as “Cutty” and I guess if you count memes “Smokin’ Jay,” although that last one wasn’t really a testament to Cutler’s greatness. Even Rex Grossman did a little better with “Sexy Rexy.” But in this department Trubisky stands above all the rest: “Biscuit,” “Pretty Boy Assassin,” “Tru,”… honestly they’re all gold.
So, when you’re watching Brady and Rodgers go head-to-head this Sunday just remember, you could be watching a GOAT every week when the Bears take the field.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.