Last week’s bold prediction went way off the wayside, with the Detroit Lions’ kicking competition only heating up instead of being decided. However, I was correct in my concern for Austin Seibert’s injury keeping him from getting adequate kicking volume in the offseason, as evidenced by the hook right we saw on all of his kicks against the Indianapolis Colts. This week, let’s hope bold prediction doesn’t come to fruition either.
Bold prediction of the week: Mitchell Trubisky finds his Chicago form against the Lions, lights up the defense
Normally I’d give you a better way to quantify the bold prediction, but it’s tough without knowing exactly how long Trubisky will play on Sunday. It’s the last preseason game and Kenny Pickett has emerged quite strongly as QB2, so the Steelers may want to get an extended look at him, too. If Trubisky plays for a quarter, we’ll call it 70 passing yards and a touchdown; if he plays a half we’ll call it 150 passing and rushing yards combined and two touchdowns.
For those of you who haven’t suppressed the trauma of the QuinnTricia era, you’ll remember the horror that was every game against Chicago. Mitch Trubisky just had his way with the Lions defense no matter what they threw at him. In seven career starts against the Lions, Trubisky has through 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions and posted a career 106.3 passer rating. Unfortunately, I see that success continuing on Sunday.
Trubisky hasn’t had many opportunities to show the public, but he’s a much different quarterback than the man we knew in Chicago. Learning under Ken Dorsey and now operating under a coach who took a Mason Rudolph-led team to a winning record, he’s in a much better situation than he was two years ago. Trubisky is surrounded by one of the most complete supporting rosters in the NFL and won’t have to carry a team the way he was asked to prematurely in Chicago.
Things couldn’t be any different for the Lions, too, compared to how they were the last time they faced Trubisky. However, the rebuild is still very much still in progress and we’ve seen the defense fluctuate—to put it nicely—through the first two games. There are still question marks across every tier of the Lions roster, with an injury-hampered defensive line, a rollercoaster of a linebacking corps, and a secondary that’s still taking shape.
That’s a recipe for a perfect storm in preseason game three, and it’s not good news for the Lions. Sunday’s game could quickly become Trubisky’s coming out party for anyone watching Trubisky for the first time since his Bears days. But hey, maybe our hero Tom Kennedy can rescue the Lions defense as well.