One of the longest-running jokes in the NFL regarding quarterback Mitch Trubisky is the idea that he can’t complete passes throwing to his left. It’s hard to know for sure where that came from but it popped up at some point in 2018 and has persisted. The truth is Trubisky isn’t that bad throwing to his left. This past year he had a passer rating of 82.7 when throw passes of 20 yards or more to his left. Not great but not awful.
The truth is far different with him. There is always an argument about which passes determine how good quarterbacks really are. Is it the quick outs? The deep outs? The vertical shots down the sidelines? All have their own degrees of challenge, sure. However, there is no pass that better illustrates a good NFL passer than the deep strike down the middle of the field. Why? Not only does it demand accuracy from the quarterback, but it also requires a sharp eye for knowing where defenders are because it’s a more crowded area of the field compared to either sideline.
Completing deep shots of 20 yards or more down the middle often determines the most successful quarterbacks. How’s this for proof? Here is every QB left in the playoffs and their passer ratings when throwing the deep middle.
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- Russell Wilson – 116.0
- Jimmy Garoppolo – 158.3
- Kirk Cousins – 93.8
- Patrick Mahomes – 145.0
- Aaron Rodgers – 121.5
- Deshaun Watson – 72.9
- Ryan Tannehill – 143.8
- Lamar Jackson – 110.4
Pretty consistent list. Every one of those guys save for Watson are excellent at hitting passes in that area. Trubisky? Well…
Mitch Trubisky weaknesses get exposed in deep middle
Yep. According to NFL’s NextGen Stats, Trubisky trailed only Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff, Andy Dalton, and Marcus Mariota for worst passer rating when throwing the deep middle. Would you consider any of those guys franchise quarterbacks? Nope. Mariota and Dalton were benched this year. Brissett’s grip on his job is very much in danger. Goff appears safe if only because he’s aided by one of the best play callers in the league.
This is not a one-year thing with Trubisky. It has stuck with him his entire career. In 2018, his best season, he had a 25.0 passer rating throwing there. Too often he either overshoots his targets or throws the ball right to a defender or defenders he failed to see.
Check out this throw here.
This didn’t take place early in the year. It was the second-to-last game of 2019. Trubisky failed to read the field at all and tried to force that ball into Javon Wims despite him being triple covered. The pass not only was a bad decision, it wasn’t even on target. This is the type of throw that separates the franchise quarterbacks from the placeholders.
Trubisky has failed to master it despite plenty of time to learn. That should send a clear enough message about his future prospects with this team.