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Is Mitch Trubisky closer to Drew Brees or Jacoby Brissett?
Those two quarterbacks faced off on Monday night and not surprisingly the game was essentially over by the end of the first quarter. Future Hall-of-Famer Brees's Saints blitzed the Colts 34-7. It wasn't close to that close.
On their first three possession, the Saints drove down and scored to lead 17-0. Brees was on fire all night and finished with a ridiculous 29 completions in 30 attempts! That included four touchdown passes and they enabled Brees to move ahead of Peyton Manning for first on the all-time scoring strike list, 540-539.
Right behind both of them is Tom Brady (538). If he can get the Patriot passing offense cranked back up, he and Brees could alternate possession of the record on a week-to-week basis.
Brissett is not in contention for any NFL records, nor will he ever be. A big reason the Saints jumped all over the Colts in the first quarter was the Colt quarterback's shaky accuracy. New Orleans' first two drives ended with Brissett throwing lousy third-down passes. Both plays would have resulted in the Colts extending critical drives when the game was still at least slightly in doubt.
Brissett finished the night with 18 completions on 34 attempts, barely over 50 percent. Brees had 307 passing yards to Brissett's 165.
The day before, Trubisky threw many more accurate passes for many more yards than Brissett. He finished 29-53 for 334. But he only had the one touchdown pass against two picks (only one of which happened in the standard run of play, i.e., not on an end-of-half Hail Mary heave). Brissett had 0 touchdowns and 0 picks.
The biggest similarity between Trubisky and Brissett is their inability to execute in the red zone. In two games against the Packers this year, the Bear signal-caller led his team to all of one touchdown in more than two dozen possessions. Monday's game was Brissett's only one against the Saints in 2019.
The primary problem for Trubisky on Sunday seemed to be that he had once again decided to try to avoid running at just about all costs. After capping off his best performance of the season a week prior against the Cowboys with a great 21-yard touchdown run, Trubisky had no interest in taking off on a similar journey against the Packers.
Sunday's game was also notable for the fact that afterward, Trubisky actually criticized the play-calling, which I'm reasonably sure was a first this season. He pointed out that the Packers' pass rush was a problem all day and that it would have been better if the Bears had called more rollouts, screens, that sort of thing.
I am not a fan of planned rollouts. The main thing they do is shrink the field, i.e., the quarterback will almost certainly throw only to the side where he has sprinted out. It is obviously easier for defenses to cover half the field than all of it.
What Trubisky still can't seem to figure out, in addition to the fact that he must run the ball consistently if he is to have success against above average defenses, is that he is best throwing on the move when he does so as he moves up in the pocket.
On numerous occasions Sunday, nervous Mitch was back. He had chances to move forward to avoid outside rushers and then either throw quickly or make a move toward the outside as he approached tine line of scrimmage. Instead he backpedaled and threw fundamentally onerous passes.
The Bears will almost certainly finish the season out of the top 25 in any of the key offensive indicators - rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, points per game.
So will the Colts.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
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