Jim McMahon

ESPN explains why Bears have had worst QB play in Super Bowl era

ESPN explains why Bears have had worst QB play in Super Bowl era

On Monday ESPN released their rankings of every NFL franchise based on QB play during the Super Bowl era, and I'm sorry, you know where this is going. 

No one – not one single team – finished worse than the Bears. The Browns are quite literally famous for a jersey that chronicles their failures and even they've been better than the Bears. (Cleveland beat Tampa Bay too if that helps.) 

ESPN broke the rankings down into four categories: Overall QB Production, Pro Bowl Caliber Seasons, QB Continuity, and Overall. They ranked the Bears 32nd in three, and 31st in the fourth. The 'Did You Know?' writeup is so, so dark: 

Here's one reason the Bears finished last in the rankings. There are 126 instances of a player throwing 30 touchdown passes in a season, and 186 instances of a player with 4,000 passing yards in a season in NFL history. Yet no Bears player has done either. They are the only franchise never to have a 4,000-yard passer, despite having played 100 seasons. The stat is so mind-boggling, I had to extend it beyond the Super Bowl era.

You can read the whole thing right here if you want. Or, you know, just do something else. This doesn't need to be your fight. 

Deshaun Watson has more in common with Jim McMahon than Mitch Trubisky does

Deshaun Watson has more in common with Jim McMahon than Mitch Trubisky does

It was supposed to be Mitchell Trubisky. The 2017 NFL Draft, the one that produced arguably the most controversial and hotly debated draft picks in Bears history, brought Trubisky to Chicago in what was supposed to end the franchise's search for the next Jim McMahon.

Trubisky's first 2 3/4 seasons haven't produced McMahon-like results, and while he's trending in the right direction over the last month of the 2019 season, questions remain about whether he'll be the presumed starter entering training camp next year.

The Trubisky pick is frustrating on many levels, but nothing creates more angst in the fanbase than the 'what could've been.' You know the story by now: Trubisky was drafted ahead of Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) and Deshaun Watson (Texans). Mahomes already has an NFL MVP Award on his mantle and Watson may earn one of his own this year.

The next McMahon. The only quarterback who ever won a Super Bowl for the Bears. The funky QB whose bigger-than-life personality still reigns supreme in Chicago. And who now shares a statistic with one of those quarterbacks from the 2017 draft: Watson.

In Week 13's game against the Patriots, Watson became the first quarterback since McMahon to throw three touchdowns and record a touchdown catch in the same game. It's a small fraternity of quarterbacks who can say they've accomplished such a feat; only four have done it in NFL history.

Bears fans are still waiting for their next McMahon. The 2017 draft may have produced him. He just wasn't the guy Chicago selected.

'Punky QB' meets 'Pretty Boy Assassin' on quarterbacks panel for Bears 100 Celebration weekend


'Punky QB' meets 'Pretty Boy Assassin' on quarterbacks panel for Bears 100 Celebration weekend

Mentoring comes in an untold number of forms. So it was on Saturday, when two of the most charismatic Bears quarterbacks of the past four decades came together Saturday for a “Legacy Quarterbacks” panel session as part of the “Bears 100 Celebration” at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Jim McMahon, legendary quarterback of the 1985 Super Bowl XX champions, began his get-together with Mitchell Trubisky, moderated by Bears announcers Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer, by surprising the younger quarterback with a pair of sunglasses and a headband that Trubisky immediately donned for the entire hour-long panel.

“Step one,” said Trubisky, nicknamed “Pretty Boy Assassin” his rookie season by his defensive teammates.

“Now you’re ready to go,” said McMahon, whose “Punky QB” ID from the “Super Bowl Shuffle” has endured.

The two first-round picks (McMahon was No. 5 overall in 1982, Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017) arrived with doubters. McMahon recalled being judged as too small, lacking good vision (he suffered an eye injury as a child, hence the sunglasses) and someone telling him, “Maybe you should go to Canada.”

Trubisky was targeted and traded up for by Bears general manager Ryan Pace after just one season/13 starts at North Carolina.

But what surfaced early in both careers was a flair for the job, that job being to energize and lead their teams. Both brought a touch of panache’ to their early dealings with team management. McMahon emerged from first ride to Halas Hall with a beer in progress. When Trubisky was tasked with making arrangements for a secret dinner in Chapel Hill with Bears top brass during their evaluation of him at North Carolina, he made the reservations of “James McMahon.”

“I think they liked that,” Trubisky said, smiling.

The two established early on that they played with a touch of abandon with their own bodies. Among highlights shown during the panel were of Trubisky scrambling for a touchdown run and coaches have expressed a desire that he learn to avoid taking so many hits. McMahon’s career was dotted/shortened by injuries and he started an average of fewer than nine games in his seven Bears seasons.

“I played the only way I knew how,” McMahon said, adding, “I was playing hurt when I got here.”

Among the photos flashed during the discussion was one of Trubisky studying the Lombardi Trophy that McMahon’s 1985 Bears won. Trubisky was clear about that trophy and his own team: “It’s within reach.”

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