One of the most remarkable streaks in the NFL is that the Chicago Bears haven’t had a first-team All-Pro quarterback since Johnny Lujack in 1950. Lujack threw four touchdowns with 21 interceptions that season. The game was a little different back then.
Over seven decades, odds are you’d stumble on one quarterback who spent one season as the best in the NFL. Not the Bears. They turned back to Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday night. Bears fans who had been clamoring for Trubisky to replace Nick Foles were quickly reminded why Trubisky was benched in the first place.
Trubisky threw a bad interception on a deep pass and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in a brutal first half. The Bears fell behind 27-3 and lost 41-25. The Packers are 8-3. The Bears, who started 5-1 this season, fell to 5-6.
The Bears have spent most of their long existence looking for a quarterback. It’s especially cruel when the Packers are on their 29th consecutive season of either Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers destroys the Bears, again
Rodgers had three touchdowns in the first half. The Bears defense, which has played well in spite of bad quarterback play for years, had no chance against Rodgers. That has been said often since Rodgers became Green Bay’s quarterback.
Rodgers seems to save his best for Chicago. Rodgers had 211 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. If the Bears had been more competitive, Rodgers could have put up bigger numbers. Rodgers has played 24 regular-season games, the equivalent of 1.5 seasons, against the Bears. He has 5,773 yards, 51 touchdowns and 10 interceptions against Chicago. In games Rodgers has started vs. the Bears, the Packers are 19-5.
On one play in the first half, Rodgers bounced around in the pocket and went through all of his progressions until he saw Allen Lazard open in the end zone. Rodgers tossed Lazard a touchdown pass from an awkward angle for the type of highlight the Bears haven’t seen very often over the past seven decades.
One player doesn’t win or lose football games, not even a star quarterback. But it’s fair to wonder if the tables would turn in the rivalry if the Bears were lucky enough to just once draft a Hall of Fame quarterback.
Bears have a lot of issues
The Bears hoped they had an answer when they drafted Trubisky second overall in 2017. They famously passed Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes to get Trubisky, who started 13 games at North Carolina. He was actually decent in 2018. Then in 2019 the wheels fell off, and that continued into 2020. He returned from a shoulder injury Sunday and despite the NBC broadcast trying to push the narrative that he would be better with his second chance — we heard all about what a great week of practice he had and how focused he was on making the most of his opportunity — he was the same Trubisky.
Trubisky’s first interception helped put the Bears in a big hole. The Bears called for a deep pass and Trubisky stuck with it, even though safety Darnell Savage was waiting deep and grabbed an easy interception in the end zone. The Bears were sinking, and then Trubisky got sacked and lost a fumble that the Packers returned for a touchdown and a 27-3 lead. At that point plenty of viewers had to wonder what else was on TV. They missed Trubisky throwing another inexplicable interception right to Savage in the third quarter. Rodgers followed that up with his fourth touchdown pass of the night.
Trubisky isn’t the answer. Foles, who was out with a hip injury, isn’t the answer. Bears coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace might not last much longer either.
Figuring out the quarterback situation will be a big priority next offseason. At least that’s a familiar position for the Bears.
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