THE MORNING AFTER: At last, Mitch has his day for the Bears

Bear Blitz

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 13: Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky #10 takes the field before the start of a game against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field on December 13, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – There are so many things that finally happened on Sunday that have failed to occur even when the Bears were enjoying their early season success.

The defense was getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers, looking like the dominant unit that looked like it could will the team to a deep playoff run. The running game, led by David Montgomery, was good enough that it made the Bears a balanced offense.

Receivers were catching everything in sight, making dynamic plays that resulted in big gains and touchdowns. While were at it, how about Cairo Santos, who has solved one Bears problem that lasted about half-a-decade.

In the end, however, there was only one star of a surprising 36-7 win over the Texans that banished a season-crushing six-game losing streak that took the Bears from contenders to the brink in two months.

This game is all about Mitchell Trubisky.

One what could be argued his best game in his four-year career with the Bears, the quarterback was 24-of-33 for 267 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. The offense moved efficiently, quickly, and had the Bears in a commanding lead before they ever reach halftime.

It was everything that Ryan Pace might have hoped for when he drafted him second overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Of course, most everything that happened in the middle has been the exact opposite, but this day belonged to Mitch, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

All week the quarterback has had to deal with comparisons to one of the highly successful quarterbacks drafted ahead of him three-and-a-half years ago: Houston’s Deshaun Watson.

A lot of days over the past four years have belonged to the former Clemson quarterback, whom the Bears overlooked to move up and select Trubisky. His stats have been better, he’s made two playoff appearances, and last year won a postseason contest for the first time, with many expecting him to make a push for MVP at somepoint in the future.

But for this Sunday, Watson took a backseat.

This day belonged to Trubisky in a rare chance for the Bears’ quarterback to bask in the glow of a chilly sunshine that popped into Soldier Field. His throws were true, his ability to improvise was worthy of the stage, and around him, the offense worked as well as it had not just in 2020 but in the entire Matt Nagy era.

Yes, the Texans are no defensive juggernaut, but other struggling defenses have given the Bears problems. It wouldn’t happen on this Sunday, as Trubisky registered a 126.7 quarterback rating, the fourth-highest of his career, and made him the rightful focus of the contest.

“I think I was just so focused on what I need to do for my team that it really allowed me to block
everything else out,” said Trubisky when asked about the comparisons to Watson through the week. “Being in that situation we were in, being on that little losing streak, that makes you sick to your stomach, so I was wanting to do whatever it took for the team today to 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 get out here and get a win and that’s what we did.”

In the process, Mitch was everything Bears fans could have dreamed he could be, even if just for one afternoon.

See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday at 6 PM on WGN-TV.

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