As Mitch ‘Mr. Thursday’ Trubisky goes, so go the struggling Bears
After Chase Daniel’s glowing description of Mitch’s practice last week, the quarterback looked like his old self against the Giants
Mitch Trubisky’s Sunday was a lot of things, but it wasn’t Thursday. How could it be? How could anything be?
Last week, Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel had stirred our imagination with his description of Mitch’s now-legendary Thursday practice. It will live on like Gale Sayers’ six-touchdown game.
“I thought he threw the ball [the] best . . . I’ve ever seen him on a Thursday,” Daniel had said. “That’s 100 percent truth. Our whole team felt that today. He had something else about him today, a pop to him, whatever it may be.’’
That quote was vintage 2019 Bears. Practice doesn’t make perfect for these people. Practice is perfect. As for the games, why must everyone be so demanding?
It’s not that Trubisky was awful Sunday. It’s that the Giants’ defense certainly is. And if there ever was a Sunday afternoon that lent itself to the possibility of a Thursday-like glow, it was this one. But the only light emanating from Soldier Field had to do with the result, a 19-14 victory for the Bears.
Trubisky completed 25 of 41 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown, threw two interceptions and finished with a 69.0 passer rating. He also ran for a touchdown.
Sunday walked away looking like it had had a rough Saturday night. The Bears trailed 7-3 at halftime. They scored 19 points against a team that had been giving up 28.9 points a game. Where were you, Thursday?
“Happy we won, but it’s not good enough, not nearly good enough from this offense, from myself,’’ Trubisky said. “Can’t have the turnovers. Got to be better on third down. Got to be better in the red zone.’’
The Bears raised their record to 5-6, and the Giants fell to 2-9. That’s why any positive emotions should be tempered. The Bears made a ton of mistakes. Trubisky terribly underthrew wide receiver Javon Wims on his second interception. His first pick, in the end zone, apparently was a product of miscommunication between the quarterback and receiver Allen Robinson.
You want more? The Bears were called for two penalties on a pass play that went for minus-two yards. You wouldn’t think of making that up, it sounds so ridiculous.
A hands-to-the-face penalty against Bears center Cody Whitehair wiped out a 60-yard catch by Robinson. A two-point conversion attempt ended up being a 48-yard missed extra point because of assorted mistakes.
The Giants, meanwhile, were extremely cooperative. Bears receivers ran around open all afternoon. New York kicker Aldrick Rosas missed two field goals.
Not to be outdone, Bears tight end Ben Braunecker dropped what would have been a 29-yard touchdown pass.
“Ben Braunecker has caught a lot of those in practice,’’ coach Matt Nagy said.
First thing Monday, I’m petitioning the NFL to allow Bears practices to count in the standings.
In good news, Trubisky seemed to walk away from this game healthy. Nagy didn’t have to console him on the sidelines, as he had the week before against the Rams. Trubisky set a record for the quickest recovery from a hip pointer in league history and was back in action.
He looked a lot like himself. And Nagy sounded a lot like Nagy.
“I really want to give [Trubisky] credit for running the show and being able to run the offense,’’ the coach said. “We have different personnel that come in and out. It’s not easy. So we want to try to help him out as much as we can, but probably a lot of that stuff y’all don’t see. But he did a really good job of that.’’
The day Nagy says, “I want to give Mitch credit for throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots,’’ then I’ll buy all the credit-giving. Until then, I’m keeping my wallet in my pocket.
The Giants cut the Bears’ lead to 19-14 on a fourth-and-18 touchdown pass with about four minutes left in the game. A comeback didn’t seem likely, but who really knows against the 2019 Bears?
The defense held. Disaster averted.
Daniel never should have spoken up about Trubisky’s wonderful practice. No human being should have to feel the weight of that ideal, that perfection, that glorious moment in time.
That was one special day, we basked in what we hadn’t seen and now we need to let it go.
But how can we? Mitch reportedly pulled the sword from the stone that afternoon. And we’re supposed to just go on with our lives?
The Bears play the Lions on Thanksgiving, which, wait a second, falls on Thursday, the most magical day of the week. Maybe that’s what this is all about. Maybe excellent Thursday practices translate to excellent Thursday games. Hey, it’s all we have.