Bears' Belief In Trubisky Rewarded With Breakthrough

September 30, 2018 - 6:25 pm
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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- While some on the outside of the grand plans wavered in confidence, the Bears were steadfast in their belief. They felt that the offense they've constructed was ready for a breakthrough and that second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky would deliver it.

Months of work by the Bears learning their offense led to a week of practice executing it and ultimately the breakthrough they knew was close. On Sunday, the Bears routed the Buccaneers, 48-10, behind a historic day from Trubisky, who finished 19-of-26 for 354 passing yards and six touchdowns.

Trubisky became the first Bears quarterback since Johnny Lujack in 1949 to throw for six scores and also set his career-high in passing yards. His quarterback rating was 154.6, which is just shy of a perfect mark.

"I never set out to break any records or do anything like that," Trubisky said. "It was just a great team win, great team execution.

"That's what I know I'm capable of."

Bernstein: Hot damn, Bears!

The 24-year-old Trubisky, the second overall pick in 2017, has been living under the microscope in a city starved for great quarterback play. That it was Lujack's mark that he surpassed wasn't a surprise by any means, given the Bears' history at that position. By comparison, Packers star Aaron Rodgers has thrown for six touchdowns twice -- most recently in November 2014 against the Bears and all in one half of football. Trubisky's six touchdown passes Sunday were one short of his total for his entire rookie season.

How did all come together for the Bears on Sunday? It was more than just a poor Buccaneers defense on the other side. Inter ally, the Bears sensed a game like this was coming. 

The Bears offense had its best week of practice under Matt Nagy's watch as head coach, operating with precision through its reps and displaying the foundation it had established. On that far practice field at Halas Hall, Trubisky was working with greater confidence in his reads and getting the ball to his targets without thinking too much.

It all followed Nagy's message to the offense: Let's have fun. The Bears showed Sunday how their offense was supposed to look all along.

"It's amazing what can happen when you just go out there and just kind of cut it loose and you don't think too much," Nagy said.

On Monday afternoon at Halas Hall, following the Bears' defense-led 16-14 win over the Cardinals, Nagy hinted at scaling back his offense for the benefit of Trubisky. Rather than making the offense simpler, he instead trusted it would all click. 

Trubisky is a tremendous student of the game whose obsession to be great is clear to those around him. He's typically one of the first players at Halas Hall and often one of the last to leave. Fullback Michael Burton, who shares a house with Trubisky, sees his roommate walking through his dropback steps in their living room. The desire is certainly in place for Trubisky.

The Bears stuck to their belief in Nagy's complex offense and what it could bring for Trubisky, and this is what they got in return: Trubisky deep down the sidelines to a wide-open Trey Burton, Trubisky to Allen Robinson on a perfectly placed fade, Trubisky to Tarik Cohen over the middle, Trubisky to Josh Bellamy down the left seam, Trubisky to Taylor Gabriel on a trick-play shovel pass and then Trubisky to Gabriel once again. 

"We've never been that far," Robinson said. "It's been a few plays here, a few plays there as far as converting on big plays, touchdowns, stuff like that. So, we haven't been far, and we've known that. It wasn't like some miraculous thing that happened.

"That's the plan. Each and every week, that's what you want to do."

Nagy arrived in Chicago from Kansas City bringing an innovative offense designed to create openings in coverages and spread the ball to an arsenal of weapons. Everything was structured around Trubisky, who had yet to deliver. While Khalil Mack helped make this defense great, Trubisky wasn't bringing it for the offense.

The support Nagy has offered Trubisky through three incomplete games was certain, but the words were becoming hollow without something to show for them. Nagy was asked Wednesday why the Bears hadn't gotten anything "special" out of Trubisky, and he pointed to a particular throw in Arizona that meant little in the box score. 

Finally, there was meaningful proof that perhaps Trubisky can be special -- and a lot of it.

"Hopefully it will be something I can look back on," he said, "and (see) this is where it all started."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​