The Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears are the NFL’s only two teams that will enter Week 3 with only one touchdown after 120 minutes of football.
Of course, only one of these two organizations shares a common goal of winning a Super Bowl this season — and it also happens to be the one quarterbacked by Mitch Trubisky.
This isn’t to say Trubisky, at his best, cannot lead the Bears to Super Bowl LIV, ironically in Miami, in February. It is meant to say the Trubisky of the past two weeks who has led the Bears to one touchdown and four field goals in his first 22 possessions cannot.
The Bears won … somehow … Sunday in Denver, where Trubisky managed 4.4 yards per attempt but whose made his one big completion in crunch-time when his Bears undoubtedly needed it the most.
Trubisky’s passer rating (65.0) and yards per attempt (4.8) are the lowest in the NFL (yes, even lower than those of Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom the Dolphins hand-picked as their tanking tour guide.)
Yet the Bears hand-picked Trubisky to be their franchise, not the figurehead for their offense’s ineptitude in Year 2 of wizard Matt Nagy’s reign. There’s no question Trubisky is the biggest current detriment, that Nagy’s play calling tells us far more about his confidence in Trubisky than his public remarks.
Nonetheless, Trubisky’s receivers not named Allen Robinson, through two games, have five combined catches for 40 yards. With drive-short-circuiting back-to-back penalties in consecutive starts, his blind-side Pro Bowl alternate blocker, Charles Leno’s, four infractions are already more than halfway to his 2018 total. Trubisky’s most reliable tight end at the moment, Adam Shaheen, is coming off a career game … with three catches for 24 yards.
Ideally, Trubisky eventually would find a way to mask his teammate’s issues because that’s what real franchise quarterbacks must do. He’s obviously not that at the moment, so the onus increases on Nagy to find fixes. And he’s clearly still in search of them, for instance, cutting Tarik Cohen’s snaps more than in half in order to feed David Montgomery Sunday, or in Cordarrelle Patterson commanding only two touches in two games despite having the offense’s longest play of the season thus far. Anthony Miller has yet to command more than one target in either game, much less be deployed as any kind of potential chess piece. And speaking of chess pieces, who knows what’s up with Burton, who debuted in Denver but hardly made a difference.
Ultimately, all that matters for now is that the Bears got the victory they so desperately needed, style points be damned. They now have an extra day to prepare for a Washington defense that’s been the worst in the NFL on third downs and allowed 63 points — as many as any other than the one that lives in a tank.
But that game will also be back in primetime, where continued struggles by Trubisky are magnified and his and the Bears doubters are increasing.
Perhaps Eddy Pineiro gives him and Nagy a greater margin for error at the moment, but if the Bears kicker is currently the offense's lifeline, well, that really says it all, doesn't it?