The Bears’ two most expensive offensive additions spent Sunday in street clothes.
But their defense manhandled a rookie quarterback and their own passer, Mitch Trubisky, was good enough in a 24-10 win against the Jets at Soldier Field.
The victory won’t earn the Bears any style points, but it snapped their two-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-3. They did it without star outside linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Allen Robinson, who were inactive because of a right ankle and groin injury, respectively.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky finished 16-for-29 for 220 yards, two touchdowns and a 102.7 passer rating. He had six carries for 51 yards.
His first score was perhaps coach Matt Nagy’s most masterful play call of the year. On second-and-10 with about five minutes left in the first quarter, Nagy slipped running back Tarik Cohen out of the backfield on a screen, catching the Jets in a blitz.
Trubisky threw the screen pass and Cohen was never touched. He outran his caravan of blockers up the left sideline — including receiver Taylor Gabriel, who made a spectacular block — and sprinted down the left sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.
The screen was all that separated Trubisky from Jets rookie Sam Darnold in the first half. Without it, Trubisky would have been 4-for-12 for 46 yards in the first half; Darnold was 6-for-13 for 54.
Darnold led the Jets to one first-half score, and it was like pulling teeth. They needed 14 plays and a whopping 8:25 to go 51 yards and settle for a 42-yard Jason Myers field goal.
In part because their own kicker, Cody Parkey, missed a 40-yard field goal in the first half, the Bears led 7-3 at halftime.
After both sides traded punts to start the second half, Trubisky jump-started the Bears offense with his legs. On third-and-10 from their own 45, Trubisky scrambled to the sticks for a first down. After Cohen ran for 21 yards over the left tackle, Trubisky ran nine yards to put the Bears at the 15.
They seemed destined for another field goal, but the Jets were whistled for a neutral zone infraction on third-and-goal from the 9. Needing half the distance, Trubisky threw rookie receiver Anthony Miller open along the end line for a four-yard score.
Parkey’s 32-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter put the Bears up 14.
The Bears had forced the Jets to go three and out on five of their first seven possessions. On the first drive of the fourth quarter, the Jets should have walked off the field after only four plays. Bears safety Eddie Jackson, though, was whistled for unnecessary roughness for hitting receiver Andre Roberts after Darnold’s third-and-13 pass fell incomplete.
Two plays later, cornerback Kyle Fuller mis-timed his jump on a 29-yard deep ball to Deontay Burnett. Two plays after that, Darnold laced a 16-yard pass to Chris Herndon at the front left pylon to put the Jets down, 17-10.
The Bears countered, though, on an eight-play touchdown drive that saw Miller catch two passes for 33 yards and running back Jordan Howard break off a 24-yard run to get to the four. He ran for two yards and then, on the next play, two yards more, to put the Bears up by 14.
The only damper to the fourth quarter came when right guard Kyle Long was rolled up on from behind as Howard plunged forward while running the clock out with about three minutes left. Long was helped to the sideline and didn’t put weight on his right leg.