Tuesday, January 26, 2021

How does shortened preseason affect Bears QB battle

While the NFL cancelling two preseason games wouldn’t normally be a big thing, the Bears QB battle is now down to just two games. With the entire offseason having currently been carried out virtually, what does this do for the Bears new quarterback Nick Foles chances of winning the starting job?

The Bears preseason games at home to the Browns on the 15th August, and on the road in Tennessee against the Titans are the ones that have been axed, leaving a road trip to Denver on the 23rd August, and a home game against the 49ers on the 29th August.

Bears QB battle still has Foles ahead

While Mitchell Trubisky would seem to have the edge having played all four of his pro-years in Chicago, and knowing the receivers, and playbook better than Foles, the familiarity of the offensive staff with Foles still gives him the edge in my book.

It was reported way back in May that Foles already had the playbook down, and while that’s not the same as knowing the receivers, it sure is a great first step. Given that the Bears have Foles signed for 3-years, and Trubisky for just one, also gives Foles a slight advantage. Say what you want, Foles is this staffs guy, and they want him to succeed.

While the Bears QB battle is still open, I think this closes the window on Trubisky just a little bit more that it already was. Mitchell is the incumbent, but the staff have just declined his fifth-year option. So he needed to go out and prove he was still their guy.

With two less games to do that, and two of the NFL’s better defenses to face in preseason that’s a much trickier proposition. Given Trubisky’s tail off in performance last season, it’s safe to say no one is as high on him going into 2020, and now the deck is stacked against him.

Mitchell Trubisky is on his last legs in Bears QB Battle
Mitchell Trubisky is on his last legs in Bears QB Battle

All the talk of Trubisky being “pissed off” when the Bears acquired Foles is great for column inches, and it’s great to hear from your starting quarterback. But I don’t think it gets him anywhere nearer to that starting job.

The one big caveat in the Bears QB battle is that Nick Foles isn’t exactly a lock as an NFL starter. With a career record barely over .500, 26-22, and an 0-4 stint in Jacksonville last season, he is the QB who lost his job to Gardner Minshew. So he may not be setting the bar that high.

Still, with the Super Bowl run performance on his resume, the fact that the Bears traded for him, and have him signed up for those three years, this is one Bears QB battle that seems almost won before the players hit the field.

With less reps to be had this summer than in any other in recent memory, all the chips are on Nick Foles side of the table and Mitchell Trubisky needs to hit on the river to keep his starting job.

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