Thanksgiving may have been a turning point for Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. In a 24-20 victory, the Bears quarterback made the difference in a must-win game on national television. Trubisky and the offense accomplished many things that they had struggled to do all season, which could prove to be the difference for the quarterback down the stretch.
Trubisky had his best game of the season, as he passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the game-winning drive late in the game in which he helped the offense convert several third-down situations. On a day where the Bears defense struggled against an undrafted, third-string quarterback, Chicago’s quarterback was the difference maker from start to finish.
The Bears offense played one of their best games of the season, and it started from the beginning of the game. On their first drive of the game, Trubisky led the offense on a six-play drive for 50 yards. He completed the four passes he attempted for 31 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson. It was just the second time, and the first time for Trubisky, that the Bears offense scored on their opening drive of a game.
Another area of improvement for Trubisky on Thanksgiving was his ability to utilize all of his weapons in the passing game. Second-year receiver Anthony Miller caught nine passes for 140 yards, he was the first Bears receiver to eclipse 100 yards receiving this season other than Robinson. Javon Wims also caught five passes for 56 yards as Trubisky found him over the middle and along the sideline.
It is Trubisky’s performance in the second half the game, including the last scoring drive, that matters the most for his future as the Bears starting quarterback. In the second half of the game, he had just two incompletions as he passed for 203 yards. Trubisky, who has struggled to find targets downfield, completed five passes that were longer than 15 yards in the second half.
On the Bears’ last possession of the day, Trubisky led the offense on a nine-play 90-yard scoring drive that put them ahead 24-20. On the drive, he connected with Miller twice on third down for receptions of 35 and 32 yards. Trubisky’s biggest flaw this season has been his inability to connect on deep throws over 20-yards. On both throws, he hit Miller in stride and put the ball in a place where only his receiver could catch it. On his final touchdown pass of the day, he went through his progressions to locate an open David Montgomery over the middle.
Although the Lions defense is one of the worst in the league, the fact that Trubisky led the offense on a clutch, game-winning drive matters. He made two big-time throws and did it in front of a national audience. The drive could install confidence in the Bears quarterback to show to himself that he can be an elite quarterback. The last time the country saw Trubisky was against the Rams when many believed he was benched for poor play. On Thanksgiving, the country saw him be the difference-maker in a game that saved the Bears season.
Chicago’s quarterback wasn’t perfect on the day as he did throw an interception and lost the first down trying to avoid contact. The positive is that he didn’t let the negative plays affect him as he threw a touchdown pass on the next drive following the interception. Some may just view the Thanksgiving win as no big deal, but for Trubisky it could be the confidence boost he has needed all season.