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We caught a glimpse Sunday of two rookie quarterbacks headed in opposite directions with their NFL careers.

The Bears' Mitch Trubisky isn't traveling in the fast lane, yet, but most of us would gladly ride with him without needing a rosary.

It's a different story with the Browns' DeShone Kizer, who's been in and out of more ditches than a duck.

Admittedly, both QBs have been a surprise.

Trubisky started only 13 games at North Carolina, but was the No. 2 pick in the draft and has become the Bears' future at that position.

Kizer was the headliner at Notre Dame for two seasons, throwing for 45 touchdowns and rushing for another 17 — in 25 career games.

I actually wanted the Bears to select Kizer. Boy, did I dial a wrong number.

The Bears finish their season at Minnesota on Sunday with Trubisky having passed for 2,015 yards, seven TDs, seven interceptions and holding a 78.5 rating for 11 games.

Not too shabby, considering his offensive line is depleted by injury and he has no receivers.

Kizer was drafted 52nd overall in the second round and probably wishes he hadn't forgone his final two seasons in South Bend, where coach Brian Kelly had said he needed more time to develop his game before joining the pro ranks.

The Browns are a 0-15 and Kizer has thrown for 2,580 yards, nine TDs and 21 interceptions.

"It’s probably one of the most difficult moments of my life. Right now, we are an 0-15 football team and it's been very ugly," Kizer told reporters. "Obviously, no matter how you put it, it has been an historic year in a negative way, and I am the leader of this team as the quarterback.

"It's going to be one of the more pivotal years in my career in the sense you have to know what rock bottom looks like before you can climb to the top.”

Following the Bears' 20-3 win Sunday, you just knew this sorry season can't end quick enough for Kizer and his teammates.

Coach Hue Jackson said he will continue to ride the young QB until the final buzzer sounds.

"No. I did not think about taking (Kizer) out of the game," Jackson said afterward. "I’m going to let him play through it. As long as he’s standing and his mind and body is right, I’m going to let him play through it. I think that’s the best thing to do."

As happy as skipper John Fox is with Trubisky's progress, Jackson hopes to one day feel the same about his struggling QB — if he can keep his coaching job at 1-30.

"Mistakes can't be tolerated, so we’re going to keep coaching DeShone. He’s got to keep stepping to the plate," Jackson said. "He’s not going to fall off. He’s got to come back and get ready for Pittsburgh and play again."

While Kizer has heard his share of boos at home, Trubisky is turning heads and earning praise home and away for his athleticism, fearlessness and the ability to throw or run effectively.

Sunday, he set the Bears' single-season rookie record for passing yardage (2,015), erasing Kyle Orton's 1,869 yards set in 2005.

"It’s not really about individual stats to me. Like I talked about before, it’s about improving myself, getting better each day," Trubisky said. "I wouldn’t be able to have that without my teammates.

"Great job (today) by my O-line up front, receivers catching the ball and just me doing my job. I don’t feel I did anything special. Just continuing to get better each week and learn from my mistakes.”

The Browns are headed for an 0-16 finish, the Bears a likely 5-11. Both coaches are probably gone.

Quarterback is the one reason to smile, so excuse the Bears if they gloat a bit.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

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