After quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed a 17-yard pass to receiver Allen Robinson on third-and-eight in the last four minutes of the Bears’ 25-20 victory Sunday against the Vikings, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth offered some faint praise for him.
‘‘You try and disguise and you try and confuse a young quarterback,’’ he said. ‘‘But again, as long as it’s his first read, his first look, he’s pretty deadly.’’
Only it wasn’t the first read for Trubisky, who looked right, then left.
‘‘No, that’s pure progression,’’ coach Matt Nagy said Monday. ‘‘Pure progression. ‘PP.’ Remember I told you guys that? That’s what that was.’’
With the Lions up next on Thursday, Nagy didn’t review the film of the victory, but Trubisky’s throw was a big play in a big
moment against the Vikings.
Here are five takeaways after watching the film:
Moving the chains
The Bears’ success on third down against the Vikings can’t be overstated.
The Vikings’ defense leads the NFL in third-down percentage at 28.3 percent (the Bears’ defense ranks third at 35 percent), but the Bears converted 6 of their 12 third downs, and Trubisky deserves some credit.
The Bears went 3-for-5 on third downs in the first half. Trubisky had a nine-yard scramble on third-and-seven from the Bears’ 24 in the first quarter. He then completed an eight-yard pass to receiver Taylor Gabriel on third-and-five from the Bears’ 34 and a six-yard pass to Gabriel on third-and-three from the Bears’ 43 in the second quarter.
All three conversions extended drives that resulted in points.
‘‘Seeing that we were 50 percent against that defense, I’ll take that all day long,’’ Nagy said.
Moving the chains, Part 2
Trubisky’s resolve also should be noted. He didn’t have a great game. He threw two cringe-worthy interceptions, the second one being the result of a miscommunication with Robinson.
But his mistakes didn’t linger.
In the fourth quarter, Trubisky completed a 12-yard pass to Gabriel on third-and-eight from the Bears’ 37. But on third-and-three three plays later, he forced a throw to Robinson and nearly was picked off for a third time. Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes dropped a potential pick-six.
‘‘There was some man-zone concepts in there, and both our wide receiver and Mitch were a little off-base on what they thought the coverage was,’’ Nagy said.
It’s a miscue that made Trubisky’s next completion to Robinson — the 17-yard gain for a first down — more noteworthy.
Another thing to note is that Trubisky threw the ball away when the Vikings blitzed on the Bears’ next third down. He didn’t panic and take a sack or throw an interception.
It’s those type of plays that resonate with Nagy. Kicker Cody Parkey made a 48-yard goal after Trubisky’s final incomplete pass.
‘‘He never got rattled,’’ Nagy said of Trubisky. ‘‘He continued to stay very composed. Next-play mentality. Nothing changed.’’
QB on the move
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter won’t like reviewing his film.
Five of Trubisky’s 10 carries were scrambles, and Hunter appeared to have opportunities to sack or tackle him on each one of those but missed. Trubisky gained 32 yards on his scrambles.
Trubisky made Hunter miss twice on his nine-yard scramble on third-and-seven in the first quarter and one-on-one in open space on a three-yard scamper on third-and-one in the third quarter.
The Bears want Trubisky to keep his eyes downfield, but the Vikings’ combination of pressure and coverage forced him to run more than in previous games. Hunter has 11½ sacks this season.
‘‘He’s not looking to run all the time,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘But when he needs to, he tucks the ball and goes. He’s protecting himself, and that’s a weapon for us.’’
Trubisky leads all quarterbacks with 363 rushing yards and is averaging a league-leading 7.1 yards per carry. He also has scored three touchdowns on his 51 carries.
‘‘We just have to make a play [against Trubisky],’’ said Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson, who sacked Trubisky on a blitz that wasn’t picked up in the first half. ‘‘When the quarterback scrambles, it’s hard. He’s not only scrambling, he’s juking guys. We just need someone on him and bring him down. It’s not an easy job at all.’’
A dominant performance
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was a major reason the Vikings averaged 1.6 yards per carry. He was a problem for
center Pat Elflein, right guard Mike Remmers and right tackle Brian O’Neill.
Five of Hicks’ six tackles were for losses, including a sack in the fourth quarter. He also chased down a screen from behind to tackle running back Dalvin Cook for a two-yard loss.
‘‘When he turns it on, he’s tough to stop,’’ Nagy said.
Hicks needed to stop on the Vikings’ first two-point conversion attempt. His takedown of quarterback Kirk Cousins turned into a roughing-the-passer penalty. The Vikings converted on their second chance.
Hicks, however, made up for it. It was an All-Pro night for him.
It wasn’t recorded on the scoresheet, but he batted down Cousins’ pass on the Vikings’ two-point attempt after their second touchdown.
Action from Jackson
Second-year safety Eddie Jackson also is having an All-Pro-worthy season. His smarts, instincts and speed were all on display during his 27-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The end-zone view from NBC’s broadcast showed Jackson watching Cousins the entire play.
‘‘It was a good read,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘The front seven gave a good push. I watched the quarterback’s eyes and made the play.’’