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Inside Slant

Inside Slant: Trubisky propels Bears with arm, legs

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Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky entered the Bears' matchup with the Vikings coming off a performance in which he dominated with his arm — throwing three touchdown passes and racking up 355 yards against the Lions last week.

Sunday night, the strong-armed second-year quarterback diced up Minnesota's defense first with his feet, then with his arm, en route to a 25-20 win over the Vikings.

On the Bears' first drive, Minnesota's defense stifled two Chicago run plays to set up an early third-and-seven play. Trubisky took a shotgun snap, didn't see an option downfield and scrambled to his right for a nine-yard pickup and a first down.

The early momentum-swinging run set the tone for the Bears, and kept the Vikings defense on edge, as it worked to contain a dual-threat quarterback who would carry the ball 10 times for 43 yards over the course of the night.

Later in the drive, Trubisky showed off the arm. He hit receiver Joshua Bellamy on back-to-back plays and then found receiver Taylor Gabriel twice downfield to set up a field goal attempt for kicker Cody Parkey.

Parkey nailed the 33-yard kick, capping off a first drive in which Trubisky was 4-4 throwing.

Two drives later, Trubisky engineered another scoring drive, mixing it up again with his arm and his feet.

Trubisky connected with receiver Allen Robinson II early in the series for a first-down pickup, and then used his wheels to score another first down.

On a first-and-10 snap, Trubisky escaped to his right for a six-yard gain. On the very next play, he eluded the Vikings' oncoming pass rushers again and went to his left for a 13-yard pickup.

After handing it off to running back Jordan Howard for three straight plays to put the Bears in the red zone, Trubisky did his best Howard impression, holding onto the ball on a second-and-two play and pushing forward for nine yards and the first down.

"You've got to be aggressive," Trubisky said about his decisions to run. "I was trying to have good eyes and good feet in the pocket. [Offensive line] did a great job giving me time, and I was able to find some running lanes, and a couple were designed and a couple I had to just get on the move, and that's something that I need to continue to do for this offense."

Two plays later, Trubisky threw a sharp ball to Anthony Miller in the front right corner of the end zone that Miller scooped up to give the Bears a two-score advantage.

"That was a heck of a catch on his part," Trubisky said. "I just gave him a shot. I just have a lot of faith in him that if I put it anywhere in his direction he'll come down with it, and he did and made a huge play for the team."

After the Bears defense forced a three-and-out, Trubisky and offense put together another productive drive, parlaying three Trubisky completions with six rush plays to set up Parkey again for three points to help the Bears take a 14-0 lead into the locker room.

After a slow start to the second half that included an interception and fumble in two of the Bears' first three drives, Trubisky stepped it up when Chicago needed him most.

Chicago's offense took over with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, after the Vikings scored a touchdown to cut the Bears lead to 22-14.

After a short Howard run play, and an incompletion, Trubisky was faced with a critical third-down situation.

This time, Trubisky opted to throw, sitting back in the pocket and then firing a dart to Robinson across the middle for a 17-yard gain.

The clutch reception kept the clock ticking as the Bears tried to tack on one more score.

A Trubisky five-yard run, and two rushes by Howard set Parkey up for his third try of the night, a 48-yard kick down the middle that iced the game for the Bears.

Trubisky finished the night 20-31 with 165 passing yards, two interceptions and a touchdown. But it was his quick-thinking runs that helped the Bears ultimately find the edge.

His 363 rushing yards this season ranks first in the league, but Trubisky isn't focused on any individual accolades.

"For me it was just coming out here being focused on what we need to do as a team, executing each and every single play and coming out with a win," Trubisky said. "So I'm proud of the way we stuck together. It wasn't always pretty on offense, but we just grinded it out and did what we had to do and it was a great team win."

For Bears coach Matt Nagy, the performance showed the grit it takes to win.

"He just battled," Nagy said. "He used his legs when he had to, he trusted his wide receivers when he needed to. … He's growing, and he's in a special place right now. He knows he can get better, but we like where he's at."

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