The Green Bay Packers arguably deserve most of the credit for sending Mitch Trubisky into the funk he experienced throughout most of the first half of 2019. Expectations were so high for the 25-year old quarterback. Many thought he’d have a big night, including the man himself. Then the Packers humbled him to the tune of 228 yards and a backbreaking interception in the end zone that pretty much ended the game in a 10-3 defense for the Chicago Bears.
A big part of Green Bay’s success that night had to do with a specific strategy. One that their defensive backs explained after the game. It was a simple enough process. Their job was to keep Trubisky contained within the pocket and force him to beat them from there. They believed he wasn’t capable of operating with enough efficiency to do so. It paid off in a big way as Trubisky managed to complete just 57.78% of his passes. He seemed uncomfortable most of the night, couldn’t get the ball out fast enough and was sacked five times.
One would imagine the Packers will look to employ that same exact game plan on Sunday at Lambeau Field. However, one person who doesn’t see that as the best idea is their own head coach Matt Lafleur. He openly admitted during a teleconference call with the Chicago media that Trubisky has undergone was massive improvements during the second half of the year. The player he is now is unlikely to be stopped by just containing him within the pocket.
Mitch Trubisky isn’t just back to his running ways
Most people assume that Trubisky is back to being productive because he started using his legs again. The reality is far different. He’s executing from inside the pocket that he never has before. A lot of the throws he used to routinely miss have started to get completed. In the previous two games, the quarterback has completed 52-of-69 passes (75.36%) for six touchdowns and two interceptions. A majority of those throws came from the pocket.
Lafleur is correct to be at least respectful of the improvements Trubisky has made lately. A lot of that is because his defense has become rather generous against the pass this year. Green Bay ranks 21st against it, allowing over 245 yards per game on average. Kyle Allen, who has fallen off in a big way lately for Carolina, had over 300 yards against them. Matt Moore, a career backup, had a 107.1 passer rating with 267 yards and two touchdowns.
This defense has talent but it’s not exactly without its vulnerabilities. If Trubisky executes at the level he has in the past couple of weeks, he could have a big day against them if they aren’t careful.