Almost four years later, it’s not only the equivalent of beating a dead horse, it’s bludgeoning a trusty steed to the point of insanity. But with his regime hanging around aimlessly as the 5-7 Bears flounder at six straight defeats (and counting), Ryan Pace’s decision to draft Mitchell Trubisky over Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft comes roaring back into focus. As Watson himself and the (favored) Texans are visiting the Bears for the first time this Sunday, it’s an entirely unavoidable conversation.
By his account, Pace thought he had The Guy when he traded up to draft Trubisky. You don’t move up several spots in the order if you don’t believe the player can be the future face of your franchise. Unfortunately for Pace’s sake, Trubisky has turned out to be the face of the Bears but for all the wrong reasons. He’s another failed prospect at football’s most important position. He’s the new face of the ongoing futility Chicago has had under center for decades.
Trubisky still can’t consistently read a defense. He still thinks and only then reacts too much rather than letting the game come to him. And he still makes basic mistakes that are flatly unacceptable for a fourth-year, former No. 2 overall pick. It should be no shock that Chicago will likely move on from the 26-year-old services this coming off-season.
In direct contrast, Watson has become one of the NFL’s premier stars. The Texans’ talisman made the Pro Bowl in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons while comfortably leading Houston to the postseason in each instance. This year, the 4-8 Texans might not be a relevant January force, but Watson is undeniably enjoying his finest professional campaign. Even without a superstar receiver like DeAndre Hopkins, the quarterback has by far the highest passer rating of his career (110) through 12 games. He’s been so good to this stage that he now holds the third-highest career passer rating ever for those qualified, with only Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers ahead. Ho-hum and a yawn, in other words.
Whatever the reasons Pace chose to pass on Watson in favor of Trubisky were, chances are many sequestered in Northeast Illinois won’t be getting over the ill-fated decision any time soon. A lights-out performance, in a victory at the Bears’ expense no less, might be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.
The Windy City Gridiron staff picks Bears-Texans and every other NFL game this weekend.
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