After defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 33-27 on Sunday, the Chicago Bears have kept their playoff hopes alive, and they managed to win back-to-back games for the first time since mid-October.
The Bears have looked noticeably better on offense, scoring 25+ points a game every week since Week 12 — the same week Mitch Trubisky returned as the team’s starter. Trubisky was benched by head coach Matt Nagy in favor of veteran Nick Foles Week 3, and he has since returned to the starting lineup with a vengeance — and some help from new play-caller Bill Lazor.
After trying to turn Trubisky into a pocket passer for over two years, the Bears have finally re-focused the offense, scripting more rollouts and bootlegs while heavily emphasizing the run game. The results, while limited in sample size, are encouraging. Trubisky has thrown for eight touchdowns, three interceptions and he has a rating of 101.9 in his last four games, in which the Bears have gone 2-2.
With Chicago needing to win out and get help to make the playoffs, it’s encouraging to see Trubisky playing well heading into the final stretch of the season. In fact, the fourth-year quarterback sounded more confident than ever in his post-game press conference.
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Mitch Trubisky: ‘This is What You Play For’
“We’re excited. I mean, this is what you play for. You play for an opportunity to get into the playoffs,” Trubisky said after beating the Vikings. “We knew if we stuck together and battled as a family and just kept leaning on each other that we could make a run. And we put ourselves in a position to do so. But at the end of the day, it comes down to being focused one day and one game at a time.”
The Bears have two very winnable games remaining on their schedule: They play a one-win Jaguars team next week and a Packers team that may not have anything left to play for Week 17. If Green Bay rests its starters, Chicago could coast — but either way, Trubisky is feeling good right now.
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Trubisky Says Bears Finally Know Who They Are…
Trubisky also noted that while the offense in particular has been clicking for the first time all season, the entire team also has a good vibe going.
“Earlier in the season … it just seemed like we were a little unsure about what we wanted to do, who we wanted to be. We have more of an identity right now. It starts with running the football and then the play-action, movement game that comes off that and just being efficient on first and second down and being a balanced offense. I feel like we have more of an identity now. Guys are buying into it,” Trubisky said.
“It’s about playing complementary football,” he added. “Doing whatever you have to do go out and there and get a win. We want to keep getting better as an offense and I know our defense wants to keep getting better as a defense and so does the special teams. When all three units are on the same page and clicking and we all play our best game, I think that’s when we give ourselves a chance every single week.”
The Bears still need the Arizona Cardinals to lose a game over the next two weeks, but they have seen some encouraging signs from the offense — and from Trubisky — regardless.