When the Bears needed it most, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky delivered.
Trailing 14-3 in the third quarter Sunday against the Cardinals, Trubisky took a second-and-10 shotgun snap and surveyed the field. He found receiver Allen Robinson II streaking down the right sideline and fired a perfect toss to the first-year Bear, landing it between two Cardinals defenders. The connection netted a 39-yard pickup—the longest pass play for the Bears this season—a helped swing the momentum in their direction en route to a 16-14 win.
The completion to Robinson helped set up the Bears’ only touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run by Jordan Howard that cut the Cardinals’ lead to 14-10.
“Everyone’s been asking about the explosive plays,” Trubisky said. “When all 11 guys are on the same page, that’s what happens. [Robinson] ran a great route, O-line did a great job up front, and I gave him a chance with the ball, so those are the types of plays we need going forward. It sparks our offense and shifts the momentum.”
After a slow start to the game in which the Bears offense ran 15 more plays than the Cardinals but produced just a field goal in the first half, Trubisky and company found a rhythm in the third quarter. Two plays after connecting with Robinson, Trubisky found receiver Anthony Miller across the middle for a gain of 10 yards. On the following play, Trubisky hit tight end Trey Burton on a third-and-five play for a pickup of four yards to set up a fourth-and-one. Bears coach Matt Nagy opted to go for it and drew up a shuttle pass to Robinson for the first down.
Three plays later, Howard bullied his way through the Cardinals defense for a touchdown to cut the lead to four.
The offense’s drive started after an Eddie Jackson interception gave the Bears possession. On the defense’s next time on the field following Howard’s score, the unit made quick work of the Cardinals again, this time getting a turnover on a Sherrick McManis diving interception.
“We knew that if we just kept battling back our defense was going to shut them down and get the ball back for us,” Trubisky said. “And that’s exactly what they did. So they created a lot of momentum for us.”
Down 14-10, Trubisky led the offense out again, and used seven plays and just under three minutes to move the ball 21 yards and put it on the Arizona 23-yard line, well within field-goal range.
Kicker Cody Parkey nailed a 41-yard attempt through the uprights to pull the Bears within one point.
After the Bears defense produced another turnover courtesy of a Khalil Mack forced fumble recovered by Danny Trevathan, Trubisky took over again, needing a score to take the lead.
The offense used a balance attack of three Trubisky completions and six Howard rushes to march down the field, picking up 59 yards in just under seven minutes of game clock, and position itself within field-goal range again to set up Parkey for the game-deciding field goal.
Thanks to another outstanding effort by the Bears defense that included three interceptions, a fumble recovery and four sacks, the offense was able to do just enough to bring home a victory. Trubisky finished the night completing 24-of-35 for 220 yards, but knows that this offense isn’t 100 percent yet.
Since he took over, Nagy has stressed that the offense was going to take time to come together and that results would come eventually. Trubisky believes the unit is nearing that breakthrough point.
“It feels close,” Trubisky said of the offense’s progress. “We’re right there. The great thing for us is we find ways to get W’s as a team. We know we’re not even close to where we want to be on offense. I’m really tough on myself, and I know I could play a lot better, and coach Nagy just keeps telling me trust the process. We’re growing together.”
Get an insider's look at a Bears game day with these behind-the-scenes photos and angles that the TV cameras didn't capture at State Farm Stadium.