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All-22 year in review: Mitchell Trubisky, QB2

The original NVP!

As an advocate of the “chain” philosophy of roster building, I’m keenly aware that a single play can take a team’s strongest link and replace it with a much weaker one. Nowhere is that more true than at quarterback. This past season, general manager Brandon Beane managed to land Mitchell Trubisky for the backup quarterback spot. Losing Josh Allen would have hurt, but a player of Trubisky’s caliber would have helped keep the team going. There’s not much film, but let’s take a look at how Trubisky fared in Buffalo.


Play 1

This will be a recurring theme. Mitchell Trubisky only came in when games were out of hand, and only one of those had Buffalo on the wrong side of things. A lot of these are Buffalo just killing clock and these quick, high-percentage passing plays have a chance at catching the defense off guard, but aren’t much more than glorified handoffs. That said, we can still check out ball placement and timing. Both of those things are good here, though the defense reads the play pretty easily and Tommy Sweeney is brought down quickly.

Play 2

Different game. Bills are way up. This is very similar to the last one except as a team, the Houston Texans aren’t as good at covering it as Washington was. The ball is arguably a bit high here, but Reggie Gilliam still stays pretty well in stride.

Play 3

The trend continues. More good timing and this one has a shot at a little YAC as well. One big difference for this play and the next four though is that the Bills were being trampled by the Indianapolis Colts and their defense could afford to play it casual.

Play 4

This is essentially the exact same play and likely would have had the exact same result. The ball is a bit high, which is on Trubisky. It’s not so high that Devin Singletary couldn’t catch it though, and the drop is on him more than Trubisky.

Play 5

The timing and placement to Gabriel Davis are really good on this play. This is also the closest we’ve seen yet to a “real play.” As it’s third down, the Bills want to keep the ball to avoid the potential of another Colts score and further embarrassment. The play call puts Davis right at the sticks and the Bills convert.

Play 6

Same old story except toward the sideline. Trubisky isn’t being asked to do much, but he’s doing what’s asked at a pretty high level.

Play 7

There’s a window to Tommy Sweeney here, but it’s over the defender who swoops in for the interception. This is not a great throw, but to be fair the situation wasn’t great either. There are a few better opportunities left on the field.

Play 8

As much as Play 7 is a lowlight, this one is a highlight. The pass is a bit behind but Jake Kumerow is still able to get it cleanly. And that’s it for passes. You’ve literally just seen all of Mitchell Trubisky’s passing attempts for the season.

Play 9

I’d consider this another highlight for Trubisky. Rather than force it and risk a negative play or take a checkdown, Trubisky sees the empty field and takes what the defense is showing him to end the game.

Play 10

And against the Texans the Bills called this play, which is definitely the play call equivalent of a middle finger.


Summary

Look, this was fun and all but everyone knows the story here. Mitchell Trubisky as the backup quarterback was always kinda nuts. When the guy keeping the bench warm is better than many starters around the league that’s a pretty great place to be. I’m 100% confident that the Buffalo Bills would love to keep him around. My confidence that another team won’t give him a shot as a starter is lower than that. Much lower.

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