Foles or Trubisky: Who Should Start for the Bears?


Written by Ryan Bennett, Sports Editor

As we stand today, the Chicago Bears are 5-1 and are in first place in their division. Many NFL analysts predicted the Bears to do poorly; some even predicted them to finish last place in their division. But it’s clear that they’ve been proven wrong to this point, with the Bears having one of the best records in the NFL.

The story starts with Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears drafted Trubisky second overall in 2017 and he became the Bears’ starter midway through his rookie year, though the team finished poorly. In 2018, however, Trubisky led the Bears to a 12-4 record and a division championship,  but they lost in their first playoff game to current Bears starter Nick Foles from the Eagles. The 2019 season was a down year for Trubisky and the team as a whole, as they finished with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs.

This past offseason, the Bears made a splash by trading for oft-injured Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles. Foles had always been a decent quarterback during his career, but finally broke through in 2017. Following an injury to the Eagles’ starting quarterback late in the season, Foles took over as the starter and led the team to the Super Bowl, which they won, thanks to a masterful performance from Foles.

The addition of Foles set up a clear quarterback competition heading into this season. Due to the lack of training camp and practice because of COVID-19, Foles wasn’t given enough time to establish his familiarity with the offense, making Trubisky the starter for week one against the Lions. In that game, Trubisky came back from a 17-point deficit to lead the Bears to a last-minute victory. After a less than impressive win against the Giants in week 2, the Bears took on the Falcons. Trubisky was benched during the third quarter after throwing a horrendous interception and playing poorly in general.

The benching of Trubisky thrusts Foles into the game, and he didn’t disappoint. He pulled off a similar effort to Trubisky in week one, leading the Bears back from a 16-point hole to stun the Falcons. Foles was given the starting job from here on out. Following a disappointing loss against the Colts a week later, the Bears took on Tom Brady and the Bucs in week five. They overcame another early deficit to win the game 20-19, even though Foles didn’t play amazing. But on the final drive with the Bears trailing by two, Foles lofted a perfect touch pass into the arms of running back David Montgomery, with multiple Bucs defenders in the area. That throw set up the game-winning field goal by Cairo Santos.

A big question looms: Does Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky give the Bears a better chance of winning? It is pretty clear from this season’s results that Foles is the right guy. Trubisky’s only solid performance this season came in the fourth quarter of one game, and he’s consistently struggled through every other game. He throws into double coverage far too often and has little accuracy or touch on his deep passes. On the other hand, Foles isn’t perfect, but he’s a veteran Super Bowl winner who has what it takes to command an offense effectively. The pass to Montgomery perfectly illustrates what the Bears want from Foles. They don’t need him to be dominant, they just need him to make the throws in clutch situations that can help the Bears win.

Have we seen the last of Mitchell Trubisky in a Bears uniform? He would only likely see meaningful game action if Nick Foles were to get injured, and the Bears declined his fifth year option, making him a free agent at end of this season. That’s likely for the best anyways, as Foles gives the team a better shot at making the playoffs, and if everything goes right, a Super Bowl run.