Quarterback Mitch Trubisky had just played, statistically, the worst game of his pro career — and the Bears won their most important game of the season.
If coach Matt Nagy had any question about which weighed more heavily on Trubisky, he got his answer immediately after the 15-6 victory Sunday night against the Rams.
He looked at Trubisky during “Club Dub,” the Bears’ postgame dance party. Trubisky was doing just that, bouncing along to “Swag Surfin’” by F.L.Y. with his teammates under the disco lights of the Bears’ locker room.
“I knew everything was good with him when I saw him in the locker room after the game — and he was doing a little dancing,” Nagy said Wednesday. “And that’s what’s so cool about that, that five minutes that we get together, was that he’s in there.”
Film study the day after Trubisky’s showing — in which he completed 16 of 30 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions for a career-worst 33.3 passer rating — confirmed what Trubisky felt in the moments after the game.
In his first game back after missing two starts with a shoulder injury, Trubisky was too eager to be playing again.
His footwork was rushed, he said, causing him to throw off-balance and out of rhythm. He was “antsy to get the ball out” and “excited to get some completions.”
Too much so.
“I was just excited to be back out there with my guys,” he said. “I was focused on the wrong things — coming out there and trying to make big plays and trying to do too much. I should have just had a more focused mindset of, ‘OK, I just need to do my job. I just need to find completions.’
“I just need to catch the snap, do my footwork and get the ball to my playmakers rather than being too amped up about being out there with my guys and trying to make all-world plays. I just need to do my job.”
That sounds familiar. After the Bears’ last drive stalled in their 24-23 season-opening loss to the Packers, Trubisky said he wished he had a different mindset at the end of that game.
“I was thinking: try to make a big play, like, ‘Win the game right here,’ ” he said. “And it should have been get one more completion, one more first down. And then when you get that first down, just another first down.”
So the rematch Sunday against the Packers will be an important test for him. Trubisky must embrace the emotion at a raucous Soldier Field — where the Bears have a chance to clinch the NFC North by beating their rivals — without getting caught up in it.
His maturity showed Wednesday when probed for reasons why he struggled against the Rams.
Was he hurt by missing two games?
“I think that’s just making excuses, saying that I could be rusty,” he said. “Bottom line is, I didn’t make the throws that I needed to make.”
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Was he too hyped to face the one-loss Rams?
“It wasn’t national TV,” he said. “It wasn’t who we were playing.”
The Bears’ defense and running game were dominant enough to overcome Trubisky’s struggles. For the Bears to get to where they want to go — to win games in the postseason — Trubisky must be better. He knows that. He’s harder on himself than any coach. But he also knows enough to enjoy every victory.
That’s why he danced.
“You’ve just got to put your own selfish thoughts aside sometimes,” he said. “Be thankful that you came away with a win and our team’s in a great position going forward.
‘‘So it’s a lot of fun being a part of this.”