(CBS Chicago) — If you’re wondering why Mitch Trubisky is still starting at quarterback for the Chicago Bears, you’re not alone. So is much of the NFL. The team’s struggles during this disappointing season can be traced back, in no small way, to his failure to develop into a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. With early-season playoff expectations fast fading, the team faces more questions than answers.
The answer to the question at quarterback seems obvious. Start Chase Daniel. Trubisky is completing just 62.4% of his passes, while Daniel completes 70.6% of his passes. Daniel also has a higher yards-per-catch average this season. According to SportsLine analyst and Wizard Of Odds Kenny White, “when they use Chase Daniel, they are a much better football team. And the stats show that as well. So far Daniel is completing 70% of his passes and more than a yard per pass better than Trubisky. So I’m not sure. They’re putting a lot of pressure on this young quarterback. I’d give him a break. I would start Chase Daniel. That would make the entire team, I think, feel a little bit better. So much pressure right now on Trubisky. He needs a break.”
Trubisky won’t get that break this week. He will be under center this week for a very winnable game against the New York Giants. While the Giants, like the Bears, also find themselves toward the bottom of the standings, their young quarterback is making progress. Daniel Jones has excelled in his last two road games, going 26-40 for 308 yards and four touchdowns against the New York Jets and 28-41 for 322 yards and four touchdowns two weeks before. And while a Giants road game against the other team that plays in their stadium may be a road game in name only, the point still stands.
White further elaborates on Jones’s strong play with some caveats. “He’s played great his last two road games — eight touchdowns, no interceptions. But those games were against Detroit and the Jets. The previous game, when he was on the road against the Patriots, a much better defense, more resembling what Chicago’s going to throw at him, he had only one touchdown and three INTs. I think he struggles this week against the Bears defense.”
The Bears’ defense continues to be held back by its offense. The unit ranks in the top 10 of NFL defenses, allowing 17.4 points and 322.9 yards. But it’s play has also experienced a few lapses in recent weeks. The Rams’ Todd Gurley picked up 97 yards last week. New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray went for 119 yards. Khalil Mack seems to have disappeared of late.
The Giants, of course, feature Saquon Barkley, who can torch a defense if he actually gets a little blocking. That hasn’t happened lately, as his 13 carries for one yard against the Jets certainly reflects. And that trend could certainly continue against a Bears defense that holds teams under 100 yards.
The Bears’ defense should prevail. (The oddsmakers have the Bears as six-point favorites.) But can a Mitch Trubiskly-led offense actually put enough points on the board?
The Bears play the Giants Sunday @ 12 p.m. CT.