Stick with a few qualifiers here: The last time a quarterback picked in the top 10 won his first start during the middle of the season was 2001, when Michael Vick completed four of 12 passes while the Atlanta Falcons won, 20-13, over the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a streak of 10 losses for quarterbacks comparable to Trubisky.
Rex Grossman beat the Minnesota Vikings, 13-10, in his first career start back in 2003; he completed 13 of 30 passes for 157 yards with neither a touchdown nor an interception.
Those past histories won’t impact what Mitchell Trubisky does on Monday — they’re more for context of how rookie quarterbacks play in their respective first career starts. The situation into which Trubisky is parachuting on Monday night is different, with the Bears needing a spark after four underwhelming-at-best games from Mike Glennon.
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Mike Zimmer’s Vikings defense is solid and standouts like defensive end Everson Griffin, safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes will give the Bears and Trubisky problems. But Minnesota will be without rookie running back Dalvin Cook, and while quarterback Sam Bradford is expected back, the lack of a running game could make this offense one-dimensional on Monday. The Vikings managed just seven points last weekend against the Detroit Lions.
The prediction here is the Bears’ defense — even without Danny Trevathan and Willie Young, among others — is solid enough to give Trubisky a chance to win his first start. And if his big plays outweigh his mistakes, that’s what the Bears will do.
Prediction: Bears 21, Vikings 17