If you were waiting for Mitch Trubisky to engineer a scoring drive while trailing against a playoff team in the fourth quarter, then this was the drive for you. And if you were wondering when you would see Allen Robinson’s break-through performance, then Sunday’s playoff game was right in your wheelhouse.
Lost in the madness and sadness of the Bears’ 16-15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to close out Wild-Card Weekend was an eye-popping stat line from Chicago’s No. 1 receiver. Robinson caught 10 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. In receiving a lion’s share of the load, Robinson responded the way everyone expected him to when he signed with the Bears back in March. He was Trubisky’s top target and the offense’s most successful weapon. And for a moment, he gave the Bears a brief fourth-quarter lead.
Let’s relive that wonderful, glorious moment:
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 7, 2019
This dude got rocked to sleep with the killer double-move:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 7, 2019
LOL. And Robinson still caught the touchdown despite the defensive penalty. That takes some kind of skill, coordination, and body control to make that happen in such a moment.
It’s even beautiful in graphic form:
After starting 0 for 4 on deep passes (20+ air yards), Mitchell Trubisky has since completed 3 straight for 101 yards including this 22-yard TD to Allen Robinson.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 7, 2019
Oh, and let’s not lose sight of the throw before The Throw that made it all happen:
Allen Robinson lost the defense
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) January 6, 2019
Allen Robinson II rocked a double move and Trubisky dropped a dime to give the Bears a 15-10 lead with 9:04 left. It’s the first real sign of life for an offense that struggled most of the game to sustain drives.
There was so much more to love from that game:
143 yards and a TD.
— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2019
Those routes. Those catches. In that moment. I’m almost breathless. Four of Robinson’s 10 catches resulted in first downs and a fifth was a first down and a touchdown. That’s 50 percent of Robinson’s production resulting in a big play in a high-leverage game. And this is what was expected when he was brought in as a free agent. The combination of reliability and big play potential made Robinson the apple of GM Ryan Pace’s eye and he had it all on display last Sunday.
And as it turns out, the Bears never had a receiver do what Robinson did in a playoff game. Seriously, never. We witnessed history at Soldier Field:
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) January 8, 2019
Ten catches, 143 yards, and one colorful chart:
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) January 7, 2019
The most unfortunate thing I’ve learned through the process of re-watching Robinson is that this type of stuff was available throughout the game and it appears as if the coaching staff took too long to figure it out and attack it. If you look above at Robinson’s route chart, you’ll see a ton of action on Trubisky’s strong side where he often attacked (and beat) rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox. So while I’m glad the Bears successfully made adjustments, it’s disappointing that it was too little, too late.
Robinson’s playmaking ability sparked the Bears’ offense in the second half. And a fourth quarter score is something we should be talking about as a moment that’s equivalent to the light bulb going off over a cartoon character’s head when something brilliant crosses their mind. Here’s hoping the Bears can take full advantage of it next year. If they can, then the Robinson-Trubisky tandem probably has a huge season ahead.