JACKSONVILLE – For all of the drama that the Bears have had during the 2020 season, it looked like the Sunday could be one that had very little.
The 1-13 Jaguars, who haven’t won since Week 1, were limping into their match-up at TIAA Bank Stadium with Bears castoff quarterback Mike Glennon and an inexperienced group all around.
Meanwhile, the visitors were feeling confident after two-straight victories that coupled with a Cardinals loss Saturday had them in control of their own playoff destiny.
Yet the Bears still made things a little too close for comfort in the first half, letting underdog Jacksonville hang around after a couple of red zone opportunities were missed. But that strife was quickly dismissed with, of all things, a strong third quarter that left little doubt by the end.
The 41-17 victory over the Jaguars is the third-straight for the Bears after six-consecutive losses and puts the Bears just a win away from the postseason. That contest in Week 17 is against the Packers, who may or may not have something to play for when they hit the turf at Soldier Field next Sunday.
While they had a bit of a slow start, the offense rallied for a season-high 41 points, with Mitchell Trubisky going 24-of-35 for 265 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Receiver Allen Robinson caught ten passes for 103 yards in his return to Jacksonville while the Bears also rushed for three touchdowns on the day.
The 2020 Bears became the first team for the franchise to score 30 points in four consecutive games since 1965, when Hall of Famer Gale Sayers was a rookie.
Such a result wasn’t quite clear in the early going, despite the team jumping out to a 10-3 lead after a Trubisky touchdown throw to Jimmy Graham in the first quarter. Glennon hit DJ Chark Jr with a touchdown throw which the receiver pulled down with an impressive catch to tie it at ten.
With the Bears driving late in the second quarter, Trubisky made a big mistake, throwing into the end zone where four Jacksonville defenders were waiting for it to make the interception. Yet Glennon would give it back as Roquan Smith picked off the pass soon after to set up Cairo Santos’ second field goal of the day to make it 13-10 at the break.
After that, the floodgates opened, with the Bears scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half. Aided by a 4th-and-5 catch by Robinson, Mitchell Trubisky finished a 77-yard drive with a six-yard rush for a touchdown to boost the lead back to ten. David Montgomery completed a 54-yard march with a rushing score, then after another Smith interception, Trubisky hit Graham for another third quarter touchdown.
Artavis Pierce got the Bears into the endzone one more time with his first career rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring.
The blowout that Bears’ fans were expecting did finally arrive, but like everything else this season, it wasn’t without just a little drama.