Same old Mitch.
At least, until the fourth quarter.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s feel-good story read more like pure fiction until the former second overall pick tossed three late touchdown passes to lead the Chicago Bears to a 27-23 comeback win over the beleaguered Detroit Lions.
Few of the supposed improvements Trubisky showed in August -- footwork, accuracy and leadership -- carried over to the first three quarters at Ford Field, as the Lions built a sizable lead courtesy of Trubisky and the offense’s ineptitude on third down and an uncharacteristically lackadaisical effort by Chicago’s vaunted defense.
Trubisky and the Bears flipped the script in the final 15 minutes -- with help from the Lions, who lost at least three defensive starters to ejection and injury -- to avoid more full-blown consternation over the starting quarterback spot.
The Nick Foles debate will have to wait another week.
One could describe the game in two words: Panic averted -- albeit temporarily. But it was shaping up to be a brutal week in Chicago if the Bears didn't pull off a win.
QB breakdown: Trubisky finished 20-of-36 for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Trubisky supporters will lean on the statistics. In reality, the Bears were extremely fortunate to knock off a very mediocre Lions team. Trubisky is feast or famine. He has to become a more consistent player for the Bears to challenge for the playoffs. The fourth-quarter heroics are wonderful, but the Bears' offense can't dig holes for itself like that. The Bears went 2-for-11 on third down.
Encouraging trend: The Bears committed to the run. The triumvirate of David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Cordarrelle Patterson kept the Lions' defense (mostly) off-balance. Head coach Matt Nagy called for the run and stuck with it. Trubisky helped his own cause and scrambled late for a couple of nice gains. The rediscovery of the rushing attack is a positive sign.
Troubling trend: Prior to Jimmy Graham’s short touchdown catch at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bears’ tight ends were nonexistent. Chicago poured tons of resources into tight end when it signed veterans Graham and Demetrius Harris in free agency and drafted Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet in the second round. The Bears wanted to turn tight end from a position of weakness to a position of strength. Chicago appeared to accomplish that goal in training camp. In Week 1 of the regular season, though, not so much. Graham ended the game with three catches for 25 yards.