Mitch Trubisky has completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 670 yards, nine touchdowns, and a sparkling, 143.3 passer rating in his last nine quarters of play. But one mistake – a red zone interception early in the fourth quarter – is going to haunt him for a minute.
“I thought the safety went with the over route and he made a good play,” Trubisky explained in his post-game press conference. “I lost him when I was stepping up and I forced one in the red zone when I shouldn’t have. I’m gonna watch it again on film and make sure that is what happened. I forced it and I put my team in a bad position. I shouldn’t have thrown that pass.”
Trubisky’s red zone pick proved to be a turning point. It came as the Bears were knocking on the door of a fourth second-half scoring drive that would have extended the team’s lead from anywhere to 11 to 15 points depending on the outcome. Instead, Trubisky threw an ill-advised pass intended for Ben Braunecker that was ultimately intercepted. And what makes it sting more is that it came after a touchdown pass to Tarik Cohen was nullified by a penalty.
That Trubisky was able to pin-point his mistake in the aftermath and explain the process is a sign that the second-year quarterback is really getting a feel for his offense. But the most impressive thing to come from the post-pick fallout is that Trubisky led an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to give the Bears a (short-lived) 28-21 lead. It would have been easy for things to spiral away from Trubisky, but he made some excellent throws, beat a blitz on a 3rd-and-9 play, and took advantage of an open man on a blown coverage assignment to give the Bears a lead. The ability to bounce back from a bad decision isn’t something we should take lightly. It took some real gumption to pick apart a secondary as highly touted as the Dolphins were entering Week 6.
It’s unfortunate the Bears defense couldn’t put together one more fourth quarter stop after Trubisky’s touchdown pass, because we would definitely be looking at things a lot differently than we have today. Instead, we’re left to talk about Trubisky’s teachable moment in the context of defeat. But at least there’s tangible progress in his development … right?