It took until Week 14 of the season, but the Chicago Bears finally did it: They put four quarters of football together and had a great game in all three phases. Prior to their 36-7 win over the Houston Texans Sunday, the Bears had lost six in a row and three straight divisional matchups. Sure, the Bears hadn’t exactly looked capable in games they were supposed to win for much of the season, but that’s partly what made Sunday’s dominating win stand out.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky went 24-33 for 267 yards and three touchdowns in the win, his second straight game with no interceptions and a rating over 100. It was also the second game in a row that saw him complete more than 70 percent of his passes, and his 126.7 rating was his highest of the season.
When speaking with the media after the game, Trubisky discussed what it was like to go up against Deshaun Watson and win, along with how he felt leading the team to its best overall win of the season.
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Mitch Trubisky on Losing 6 Straight: ‘Makes You Sick’
When hew was asked if he had let any of the talk leading up to the game about facing his fellow 2017 draftee Watson get into his head, Trubisky didn’t miss a beat.
“I was just so focused on what I need to do for my team, that it really allowed me to block everything else out,” the Bears quarterback said. “Just the situation we were in, being on that little losing streak, that makes you sick to your stomach, so I was willing to do whatever it took for the team today to just go out and get a win, whether it was handing the ball off every time or throwing it every time — obviously that’s extreme — but I was willing to do whatever it took to go out here and get a win, and that’s what we did. I thought we played really well today and it was a great team win. All three phases really stuck together. We’ve just gotta continue to finish in the second half. It was just easy to block out because I knew what I was focused on doing today.”
With the defense netting a season-high seven sacks and the offense finally finding consistent rhythm throughout four quarters, gaining 410 total yards, the Bears looked better than they have all season. But will it matter?
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Trubisky, Bears Feel Like They’re Establishing an Offensive Identity
The Bears offense is clearly better with Trubisky under center than it was with Nick Foles, who proved to be an interception machine while leading an offense that failed to score more than 23 points a game once in his seven starts.
Since he has returned as the team’s starter, Trubisky has gone 1-2, but the Bears have scored 25+ points in all three games. According to Trubisky, the offense is just now starting to find its groove.
“I think we just need to continue to run the ball well, and off that just have a bunch of bootlegs and nakeds and keep taking what the defense gives us,” Trubisky said, adding: “You see the positive plays on first and second down — If we can just stay out of those third-and-long situations, which we have, and we just keep moving the ball down the field and keep our defense off the field and let them do their thing — I think we’re starting to establish rhythm on offense, and the defense doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming, the run or the pass, and we’re able to avoid third downs and just move the ball down the field and stay in a rhythm,” Trubisky said Sunday.
While it’s easy to get excited after a performance like that if you’re the Bears, it’s also important to maintain some perspective. When Trubisky and company faced the Packers Week 12, he threw two picks and Chicago failed to establish any kind of offensive identity in the 41-25 loss.
In their two most recent games, Chicago has faced the NFL’s 29th and 30th ranked defenses, respectively. If they want a shot at the playoffs — which they technically still have — they’ll need to beat the Vikings, Jaguars and Packers while relying on a little help from the Cardinals. The Jags should be an easy mark, but the Bears have been embarrassed by the Vikings and Packers in recent weeks, so the true test for Trubisky and the team still remains.