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The Bears are staring down a rabbit hole right now.
Remember Mitchell Trubisky?
Selected second overall in the 2017 draft to be Chicago’s franchise quarterback, instead of instilling confidence among fans, Trubisky has created confusion and doubt.
He was 4-8 as a rookie — understandable for a quarterback in his first year. Then he went 11-3 in 2019 and helped lead the Bears to the playoffs. That, however, was followed by a mixed-bag 8-7 playoff-less record last season, pushing the Bears to sign Nick Foles in the offseason to compete with Trubisky.
Foles took over for a struggling Trubisky in a Week 3 game at Atlanta and led the Bears to a comeback victory. But the Bears’ confidence in Foles waned during a four-game losing streak from October into November.
Enter Trubisky. Again.
This brings us to Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Packers at Soldier Field. The fate of the Bears’ postseason rests on the right shoulder of Trubisky, who has led them to three consecutive victories.
In the past three weeks, the Bears have averaged 36.7 points per game and Trubisky has completed 70.8 percent of his passes, aided in large part by more effective play-action and more moving pocket, roll-out passing, which better suits his skill set.
In the four games since Trubisky was reinserted as the starter, the Bears have scored 14 touchdowns and averaged 31 points and 386.5 yards. In the previous seven games, they scored just nine TDs and averaged 16.7 points and 272.1 yards.
Trubisky has hardly looked like a quarterback entering the final year of his rookie contract lacking confidence from watching Foles brought in to compete for his starting job.
“I would say I just wanted to control my own destiny,” Trubisky told reporters. “I’m controlling what I can control at this point. And I’m just trying to take control of my career and put it in the direction I want it to go.”
Part of that direction, Trubisky said, has been being “a little more assertive.”
Coach Matt Nagy has gone out of his way to praise Trubisky for the way he handled being benched earlier this season.
“That’s probably one of the biggest things in this whole story is him being able to stay positive through a negative situation,” Nagy told reporters. “He really has taken it on. He’s put it completely on himself. There’s no other distractions with him right now. He’s just making sure that he does everything he can to keep plugging away.”
The intriguing question that potentially lies ahead for the Bears is this: What happens if Trubisky keeps playing well, leads the Bears to a win and a postseason berth Sunday and perhaps even helps them win a playoff game or two?
If this happens, do they recommit to Trubisky, re-sign him to a long-term deal?
Will this late-season flurry — if it continues through Sunday and into the postseason — be enough to convince the Bears what they thought they were convinced about four years ago when they drafted him second overall.
Fascinating times lie ahead in Chicago.