On second-and-goal from the Packers’ 3, receiver Allen Robinson made a touchdown-worthy move against cornerback Kevin King; the kind of move the Bears envisioned when signing him to a three-year, $42 million contract in March.
The only thing missing was a touchdown-worthy throw from quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Robinson left King in his dust, but Trubisky sailed his pass out of the end zone.
It turned into the first missed opportunity for Trubisky on a night that featured several of them. But for the Bears, starting with Trubisky and Robinson, it’s a play that illustrates their shared belief that they’re “close” as an offense.
“I didn’t have to say [anything],” Robinson said Wednesday. “I know we’ll come back to it, and we’ll get it. It’s nothing other than that. Nothing needs to be said. If anything, we may just hit some more reps on it or something like that.”
Robinson’s performance against the Packers was a silver lining in a stunning defeat. He had four catches for 61 yards in his first game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 1 of last season for the Jaguars. Robinson’s first reception was a falling 33-yard grab against Packers first-round pick Jaire Alexander on the second play of the Bears’ second possession.
“I’m here to make plays and to make big plays,” Robinson said. “That’s a route that I’ve run a lot in this league, so I feel pretty comfortable with it. Once I saw the technique and leverage, I knew where I had to get to and what I needed to do to win.”
On a personal level, simply playing after tearing his ACL was a win for Robinson. He was on the field for 67 of the Bears’ 70 offensive plays Sunday.
“I feel great,” Robinson. “I felt great on Monday. I felt great yesterday. And I feel great today. That’s a good thing.”
Receivers coach Mike Furrey was impressed by Robinson’s physicality and willingness to a block. Furrey also pointed out Robinson’s two catches over the middle in traffic: a 13-yard gain on third-and-four in the first quarter and a 12-yarder in the final two minutes that turned out to be Trubisky’s final completion of the game. On both plays, Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix closed in, but Robinson was undeterred.
“He looked good to me,” Furrey said. “It looked like he had been out there playing for a while, which is good for us. Now we’ll just continue to grow as he continues to get better in this offense.”
Robinson will be better when Trubisky is. The same is true for all of the Bears’ players on offense. Robinson was Trubisky’s primary target down the field in Week 1. Receivers Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller only were targeted once each beyond the line of scrimmage.
But Robinson isn’t overly concerned by his young quarterback’s errant throws in their first game together, even if they failed to combine on a touchdown in the first quarter and settled for their first of three field goals.
“For us, that was our first game as a whole receiving corps, having some new pieces,” Robinson said. “So the more the reps the merrier. As the season progresses, I know we’ll grow.”
The first step is turning the proverbial page. Robinson senses that Trubisky already has done that as the Bears prepare to host the Sea-hawks on “Monday Night Football.”
“In this league, that’s something that you got to have,” Robinson said. “It’s a lot of games. It’s a lot of football being played. I don’t think you can really hang your hat, good or bad, on the week before, because at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. We’re into another week.”