As Bears’ offense goes, so goes Mitch Trubisky
Packers defense won the day and there was nothing the Bears’ quarterback could do about it. “Credit to [the Packers]. They’re a good defense,” he said.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mitch Trubisky came into Sunday’s game against the Packers on the most promising roll of his career. But he left Lambeau Field still searching for the watershed moment when he can rise above the muck of a developing offense and turn a subpar performance into a winner.
The Packers’ defense won the day on several fronts and there was nothing Trubisky could do about it in a 21-13 loss that ended the Bears’ playoff hopes. The Bears tried to set an early tone by going no-huddle after Trubisky’s seven-yard pass to Tarik Cohen on their first offensive play. They got set, then reset, Trubisky made a vocal adjustment — and Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark single-handedly set a tone of his own, beating guard James Daniels to tackle Cohen for a three-yard loss.
It was that kind of day. Adrian Amos tackled tight end J.P. Holtz for a one-yard loss later in the opening series. On the Bears’ second possession, Clark sacked Trubisky and cornerback Jaire Alexander tackled Riley Ridley for a three-yard loss and the Bears punted.
Through two series, the Bears already had four negative plays and the Packers’ defensive line put Trubisky in one tough spot after another. Not even the aggressive mentality off his 63-yard rushing performance against the Cowboys could make a difference. Trubisky was held to 29 rushing yards on four carries. And he was scattershot all day in the passing game — completing 29 of 53 passes for 334 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for a 64.5 passer rating.
Even in the best of times, this offense carries Trubisky on its shoulders instead of the other way around. And Sunday was no different. This wasn’t Matt Nagy’s best day. It wasn’t the offensive line’s best day. And not surprisingly, it wasn’t Trubisky’s either. He was 13 of 22 for 127 yards and an interception in the third quarter as the Packers took a 21-3 lead.
“They were pretty good. They had a really good front,” Trubisky said of the pass rush. “I felt like our O-line played really well. I thought we could have taken more pressure off them [by] moving the pocket a little more and getting me out. But yeah, they’ve done a great job all year long. That’s what they hang their hat on and they did that [Sunday].
“We’ve just got to continue to find ways to take pressure off our O-line with a good pass rush like that — continue to mix it up, whether it’s screens, running it, draws, all that kind of stuff that helps. But credit to them. They’re a good defense.”
Trubisky often has been at his best in dire, desperate situations, but even his rally after the 21-3 deficit was littered with mistakes. He threw for 207 yards in the final 18:33 of the game. But he completed only 16 of 31 passes and was intercepted by defensive lineman Dean Lowry in that span.
“They just mixed it up,” Trubisky said. “Zoned us out. Sprinkled in man here and there. Had some droppers underneath — mixing a drop-eight here or there, dropping off some D-linemen and zoning us out. They did a good job. We were trying to take the stuff underneath and try to create explosive plays that way. We’ve just got to be better on first and second down and get it going and take some pressure off our O-line.”
So what happened to the offense that showed so much promise in victories over the Lions and Cowboys?
“It’s a good question,” Trubisky said. “We just weren’t consistent. We didn’t really have the flow or rhythm throughout the game. Spurted a couple of times. Had some negative plays. It would be good to watch the film [and] learn from our mistakes.”