Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky gave himself a candid evaluation following his performance last week against the Rams and promised to learn from his mistakes.
"I'll get everything corrected," Trubisky said following the Bears’ win in which he threw three interceptions. "I'm going to go back to work this week, just work really hard to get it corrected, play a lot better."
On Sunday, with a chance to clinch the NFC North on the line, Trubisky made good on his word. The second-year quarterback completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and threw for two touchdowns en route to a 24-17 win over the Packers.
Trubisky credited his bounce-back ability to advice he received from quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone.
"It doesn’t matter what you did last week, each week is a new opportunity," Trubisky said Ragone told him. "And it’s the same thing with the game, you get to the game and each play is different, so you’ve got to take it one week at a time, and then when you get to the game, you’ve got to take it one play at a time."
Trubisky took the message to heart and found a rhythm early, engineering a nine-play, 60-yard drive that was capped off by a nine-yard touchdown rush from running back Jordan Howard to get the Bears on the board in the first quarter. Trubisky mixed up his options, completing passes to Howard, tight end Trey Burton, and running backs Taquan Mizzell Sr. and Tarik Cohen on the scoring drive.
The offensive plan was to be efficient and nickel and dime the Packers defense.
"We knew they weren't going to give us anything deep, so it was going to be a grind-it-out game, take what they give us underneath and just find completions," Trubisky said. "So that’s what I wanted to do all game, just stack completions. I knew we’d break some tackles and then you’d get some longer plays, and then when we get into the red zone, we need to convert."
Trubisky put together another scoring drive late in the second quarter, leading the Bears more than 60 yards in just over a minute. On first-and-10 from the Green Bay 12-yard line, Trubisky fired a quick pass to Cohen just before the Packers pass rush got to the quarterback. Cohen changed directions for the catch, and maneuvered his way in for the score.
"It was kind of tough on the option route, and they were bringing pressure and I knew I had to get it out," Trubisky said. "So I was just trying to throw in a spot that I knew he was going to be, and he made an incredible adjustment to it."
In the second half, Trubisky stepped up again. After back-to-back series that ended in turnovers by way of a failed fake punt attempt and a lost fumble, Trubisky flipped the script on the Bears’ third drive of the half. On a second-and-eight in the red zone, Trubisky dropped back and darted a perfect ball to Burton in the end zone to give the Bears a 21-14 lead.
"It was just a great play call," Trubisky said. "I recognized cover-2 to that side and just found a hole and I threw it in a spot where I felt like only Trey could get it and he made a heck of a catch and ran a really good route. That’s what happens when all 11 guys are on the same page doing their job."
It was the type of high-IQ execution that’s befitting of the player who helped the Bears clinch their first playoff berth since 2010.
Trubisky knows this is just the beginning for this team, but said he’s particularly proud of how the team has handled itself this year despite people outside the organization doubting their ability.
"We know that nobody really believed in us on the outside, in the preseason or even throughout the season," Trubisky said. "But we knew what type of team we had and we knew that we just needed to keep getting better."
Trubisky -- who has had some of his best performances this season in weeks following games in which he faced adversity -- lauded his team’s ability to learn from its mistakes and get better.
"Adversity and losses, it really tells a lot about a team," Trubisky said after the win. "And we all come together and we adjust and we go hard in practice so that doesn’t happen again, and the next week you get the result you finally want."
Trubisky and the Bears got the result they were looking for Sunday, and it came with a ticket to the postseason too.