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Should the Bears Start Trubisky or Foles?

In the 3rd quarter of the Bears Week 3 game against the Falcons, quarterback Mitch Trubisky was benched for Nick Foles. When Foles first entered the game, the Bears were down by 16 points with 25 minutes left. Foles then led the Bears to an impressive comeback victory, scoring 20 straight points to win 30-26.

After such a promising performance, many thought that Nick Foles was the answer to the Bears mediocre offense. However, since that game against the Falcons, Foles has gone 2-5 and the Bears have not scored more than 23 points in a game. In the past two weeks, Foles and the Bears offense have had especially bad offensive performances. This raises the question: would the Bears be better off starting Trubisky?

Argument to Start Trubisky

Obviously, the main goal of football is to win games. The Bears have a better chance of doing so with Trubisky as quarterback.


(Will Newton/Getty Images)

Trubisky has technically not lost this season, as he has a strong 3-0 record. Meanwhile, Foles has struggled to get wins, only putting up a 2-5 record. You could point to the fact that Foles has faced more difficult teams than Trubisky, but when it comes down to it, the only thing that matters most in football is winning. Even if he has faced easier teams, Trubisky has won and that is all that matters.

Even though Foles might seem more poised in the pocket, Trubisky has one skill that Foles does not have – scrambling and being able to run. Trubisky has shown much talent throwing the ball on the run and completing play action passes outside of the pocket. With a poor, deteriorating offensive line, the Bears offense largely relies on a quarterback with the ability to avoid pressure.

The expectation around the league is that Trubisky is generally a worse passing quarterback than Foles. However, this year’s statistics do not always back up that claim. Trubisky has the higher quarterback rating, a much higher percentage of throws ending in touchdowns and more yards gained per pass attempt.

Beyond who is the better football player, Nick Foles sustained a hip and flute injury in Week 10 against the Vikings. It is not as serious as the Bears once thought, but he is clearly not 100%. Starting Foles would put him at risk of injuring it even further and he would most likely not play to the best of his ability.

Argument to Stick With Foles

Even though Foles may have the worse record, he is much more poised than Trubisky. You can see this in how the veteran plays – he is not afraid to step up in the pocket, he sets his feet on throws and does not hesitate. Meanwhile, the unpolished Trubisky is often off-balanced when he throws and is more fazed by pressure in the pocket.

(Robin Alam/Getty Images)

Also, comparing the two records could be considered a misleading argument. Even though Trubisky is technically 3-0, he could easily be 2-1. The Week 3 matchup against the Falcons was only won because of Nick Foles’ late game heroics. In fact, Trubisky played very poorly in that game.

It is true that Nick Foles has a bad record at 2-5, but it would be fair to say that the record would not be much different with Trubisky at the helm. Trubisky’s wins were against 3 bad teams: the 4-6 Lions, the 3-7 Giants and the 3-7 Falcons. Meanwhile, Foles’ losses were against teams with a combined record of 33-17.

Beyond the performance of the two quarterbacks, it is quite possible that Foles is chosen for political reasons.

In the offseason, the Bears organization invested a lot in acquiring the veteran quarterback. They traded a 4th round draft pick for Foles to the Jaguars. They then signed him to a 3 year, $24 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. To switch back to Trubisky after making such a big move would not be a good look.

Making the change would also be a bitter pill for Head Coach Matt Nagy to swallow.  In making Trubisky the starting quarterback, Nagy would be admitting his mistake. Therefore, Nagy might be hesitant to make the switch.

Prediction

The majority of Bears fans and media are calling for a switch in Chicago’s starting quarterback. Even though Head Coach Matt Nagy will be hesitant to make the change, Foles’ recent injury and Trubisky’s better record will be difficult to overlook. Therefore, Mitch Trubisky will most likely be the starter against the Packers on Sunday night.

 

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