A few minutes ago, I started to write that, boy, did Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky need this. But nobody needs as much as he took and was given Sunday.
Six touchdown passes, five in the first half? Three hundred fifty-four passing yards? A 154.6 passer rating? Six completions of 30 yards or more?
Silly numbers. An embarrassment of riches. Generational wealth. Trubisky’s future grandkids will be able to live comfortably off the statistics he compiled in a ridiculously easy 48-10 victory against the Buccaneers.
Oh, who are we kidding? He absolutely needed this game. He needed it to pump up his confidence, lower his stress level and surgically remove the Patrick Mahomes comparisons that had been attached to his back since the season began.
There’s no way to know if this was a breakthrough game for Trubisky, who had been average, at best, in his first three games leading coach Matt Nagy’s offense. Ask again in a few games, a few months or a few years. But if you’re a Bears fan or a Bears general manager, bask in this one afternoon at Soldier Field. It was beautiful.
‘‘I put the ball exactly where I wanted it to the receivers,’’ Trubisky said.
‘‘I knew all week long that he was going to have a good game,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He was out there spinning the ball in practice. Our red-zone practice that we had on Friday might have been the best practice since we’ve been together.’’
Were Trubisky’s numbers overkill? There’s no such thing when you’ve been scrutinized as much as he has been. If he wasn’t throwing off-target passes in the first three games, he wasn’t throwing downfield enough. And we let him know it — repeatedly.
Last week, I asked Nagy to respond to the criticism that Trubisky had yet to do anything special this season. The coach disagreed, though not convincingly.
After the game Sunday, someone asked Nagy to address a perfect first-quarter pass Trubisky had thrown into the corner of the end zone to Allen Robinson.
‘‘It was a special throw, no pun intended,’’’ he said, looking my way. ‘‘Just kidding.’’
Nicely played, Coach.
Were the Bucs bad? Oh, they were dreadful. The last time Trubisky saw this many wide-open receivers, he was playing with Timmy, Bobby and Johnny in his backyard. It was if Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had told his young defensive backs that the Bears were carriers of a horrible communicable disease and to stay away.
But — and this can’t be overemphasized — who cares? Trubisky threw many pinpoint passes. Better yet, he threw many pinpoint vertical passes. The kind that go down the field instead of sideways. There was progress, enough to make people forget for a week how well Mahomes — like Trubisky, a 2017 first-round pick — has done for the Chiefs this season.
The six touchdown passes were the most by a Bears player since Johnny Lujack threw six against the Cardinals in 1949.
‘‘It feels good,’’ Trubisky said. ‘‘It’s very humbling because you know the history of the Bears and how many great players have gone through this organization. For me, just trying to create your own legacy and trying to make a path. But I’m out there playing for my teammates.’’
He had 289 passing yards and 53 rushing yards in the first half. Did we mention the perfect 158.3 passer rating he had at halftime?
Nagy had been saying for weeks that when his offense finally jelled, we would want to seek immediate shelter, such would be the force of it. If this is what he had in mind, then he was right. But I wonder if, deep down, even he could have seen this coming.
No one would dare to dream this big. No one would pray this big for fear of looking like a glutton.
‘‘It’s amazing what can happen when you just go out there and just kind of cut it loose and you don’t think too much,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘That’s not just the players; that’s the coaches, too. Let’s go out there and have a little fun. We stretched the field.’’
That the Bucs were such willing participants can’t be overlooked, just as gasoline can’t be overlooked when explaining combustion engines. But, to reiterate, who cares?
The 3-1 Bears, winners of three consecutive games, head into the bye week with lots of confidence. They’re in first place in the NFC North. Few people saw that coming. Fewer people saw six touchdown passes in a game coming. Maybe we need to make an appointment with the eye doctor.