By Chris Emma—
DETROIT, Mich. (670 The Score) – Moments after his worst afternoon in the NFL, Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky stood tall again and showed poise.
The lowly Bears had just lost to the Lions, 20-10, at Ford Field on Saturday, and Trubisky was forced to do everything he could to bring a battered team back. He in turn threw three interceptions and didn’t give his team a chance with the door somehow still open for a comeback.
Trubisky was peppered postgame with questions on his miscues, each more deflating than the last. He went through the progressions and acknowledged what went wrong – overthrowing across his body the second play of the second half, not spotting safety Quandre Diggs in the end zone early in the fourth and getting crossed up with tight end Daniel Brown in the final minute.
“Obviously, you don’t want to go into a game with three picks,” Bears coach John Fox said.
When the day was done, Trubisky had a few of his career-best numbers, finishing 31-of-46 for 314 yards and a touchdown to those three interceptions on a bad day all around for the Bears. Coach John Fox elected to punt on fourth-and-1 from the Bears’ own 45 trailing 6-0 in the second quarter – this despite entering 4-9 with nothing left to lose – and later downplayed that decision as not being a factor in the game.
The Lions marched 10 plays and 92 yards to the end zone on the ensuing drive, which gave them a two-score game and essentially eliminated any balance the Bears hoped to attain offensively. This game would be left riding and dying with Trubisky.
Veteran safety Darius Slay, the recipient of two Trubisky interceptions, said on the NFL Network broadcast he could see Trubisky staring down receivers. He certainly had a good vantage point of the Bears’ blunders, but Trubisky had a different perspective – one without a go-to receiver wide open down the field.
“I’m just trying to move guys and find my receivers open,” he explained.
To his credit, Trubisky kept bouncing back. His offense committed far too many penalties, and the protection eroded after Josh Sitton’s ankle injury, but Trubisky kept dropping back and making strong throws.
Three weeks ago, Trubisky was seeing ghosts during a blowout in Philadelphia and the scoreboard made him panic. He began rushing through reads and throwing without his body set. At the least, Saturday brought that step forward for Trubisky.
“I feel like he doesn’t change at all,” rookie running back Tarik Cohen said of Trubisky’s poise. “Good times, bad times, he really stays the same and really stays focused.”
Ever a student of the game, Trubisky likely broke out the iPad on the short flight home and had his mistakes covered before touching down back home in Chicago. Often times, he knows immediately what went wrong – as was the case Saturday. But the film will lend plenty more for a young quarterback.
Trubisky’s tough day in Detroit can make him a better quarterback in the long run. If that proves to be true, Saturday won’t be a total loss.