With 10:16 remaining in the fourth quarter of a tied game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Trey Burton to give his team a 21-14 lead.
In case you want to re-live the magic, it looked a little something like this:
This throw makes me feel feelings. pic.twitter.com/KDbLiIgHUD
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 16, 2018
It’s really every thing you want out of play design and execution.
Here, we have Burton in a three-point stance – which isn’t a position he’s often in. Indeed, as the “U” tight end in Matt Nagy’s offense, Burton usually lines up in the slot and sets up like a traditional receiver. But in this case, he lines up in a stance that – as a defender – makes you think a run play is coming. And since Burton isn’t known for his run-blocking skills, you can understand why he was given a free release by Packers defenders as he wasn’t expected to pose much of a threat as a blocker.
From the snap of the ball, we have Burton getting a clean release into the second level where his route pushes safety Josh Jones (who is already deep in coverage) into a place where he can’t recover and make a play on the ball. It’s what the kids these days call “leverage” in a route. From there it’s an easy throw for Trubisky, who is sound with his drop-back, footwork, and throwing mechanics as he delivers an on-target pass to an open receiver.
And that’s when it hit me: When was the last time a Bears quarterback threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to break a tie or take the lead in a win against the Packers? If your answer is something along the lines of “it had been a while” then your feelings serve you well.
The last time a Bears quarterback threw such a pass was over a decade ago! (October 7, 2007), when Brian Griese delivered a 34-yard pass to Desmond Clark with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. The touchdown toss broke a 20-20 tie and was the game-winning score in a 27-20 win over the Packers. You can check out the box score from Pro Football Reference here and enjoy a nice trip down memory lane.
Not too many Bears quarterbacks have been able to do that over the years against the Packers. Here’s to that one being the first of many.