Monson: Trubisky Has NEVER Graded Well

PFF analyst Sam Monson explains why Mitchell Trubisky's PFF grade lags behind his statistical output

The DA Show
October 22, 2019 - 12:42 pm
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Mitchell Trubisky was the second overall pick – and the first quarterback taken – in the 2017 NFL Draft, ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, among others.

It’s safe to say the Bears likely regret that.

“He’s never graded well with PFF,” PFF analyst Sam Monson said on The DA Show, referring to Trubisky. “He’s definitely taken a step backwards, but even when the numbers were excellent, his grade was not good. This season, his PFF grade is 45, but even last year it was 63.6; the year before that, 66. So Trubisky has never graded well for us, but he was made to look a lot better because of the offensive system there in Chicago and Matt Nagy’s play-calling. But more importantly, the system he brought over from Andy Reid in Kansas City is an excellent one and it was able to make Trubisky look a lot better. Now he’s taken a big step back.”

Trubisky has thrown for 839 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions in five starts this season.

“(Matt Nagy’s) offense has had to change to try and prop him up, and it hasn’t been able to,” Monson said. “He just looks worse and worse, and the system is getting worse and worse around him as it tries to prop him up. I don’t really see a clear path back for Trubisky. It would take a massive offseason rebuild and reset to be the player they thought he could be when they drafted him. But at this point, they need an alternative because there’s no way you can run into the 2020 season with Trubisky as an unquestioned starter and no competition to take that job away from him.”

Monson explained why Trubisky’s PFF grade doesn’t match, for example, his 2018 stats, when he threw for 3,223 yards, ran for 421 yards and had 27 touchdowns (24 pass, three rush).

“PFF is grading every single play, throw-by-throw, not necessarily the result of the play,” Monson said. “A lot of the times the difference between passer rating and PFF grade is essentially explained by play-calling and the other people making plays. Think of those screens that Doug Pederson or Matt Nagy likes to run a lot. When Tarik Cohen takes one of those passes 50 yards, breaking five tackles along the way, it was a nothing play by Trubisky but it was a huge play by the offense and makes his passer rating look great. So PFF is quantifying every one of these throws and analyzing what part Trubisky actually played in it.”

Often, Monson says, Trubisky is propped up by play-calling, receivers being wide open, and skill players making high-level plays.

“All of those things get factored in,” Monson said. “That’s why his PFF grade has never matched the boxscore numbers."