Facing a short week, the Bears watched Monday night’s game film on the flight home from Washington D.C.
“Now we’re rolling on the Vikings,” coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday.
Here’s what the film showed from Monday night’s 31-15 win at the Redskins:
‘One of those plays we’ve been looking for’
For all his struggles, quarterback Mitch Trubisky gave the Bears a glimpse of what makes him special when he launched a 36-yard touchdown to Taylor Gabriel with about a minute left in the first half.
“To throw an off-balance throw with that accuracy down the field like that was one of those plays we’ve been looking for,” Nagy said. “It was nice to get that. …
“Those are the type of plays right there that really get you going. That’s one of those plays ... that’s 100 percent one of those top 10 plays by a quarterback [this week].”
On third-and-17, Redskins inside linebacker Jon Bostic blitzed over the center and then stunted around to rush over the left tackle, with two defensive linemen ducking underneath him. Left tackle Charles Leno saw the stunt, but was too late getting to Bostic, who had a free run at Trubisky.
The quarterback planted his left foot, shuffled once to avoid Bostic and took three strides across the pocket, stepping his right foot on the right hash and heaving the ball up the sideline into man coverage.
Gabriel has slipped behind cornerback Josh Norman, whose back was to Trubisky as the receiver caught the touchdown at the front right pylon.
“The footwork, [quarterbacks coach Dave] Ragone works with those guys every day — he’s awesome with that,” Nagy said. “I have a lot of faith in their feet.
“The next part, then, is having the clock and the anticipation to know where your guys are at.”
The attempt had a completion probability percentage of 10.4 percent, making it the least probable catch-and-throw charted by NFL Next Gen Stats all season.
“There’s not many plays that quarterbacks make, like, that throw and that pushing the pocket and that arm angle,” Nagy said. “That was a hell of a play.”
On the other hand …
Trubisky’s lone interception Monday night was maddening. On second-and-3 from the 6, he identified man coverage at the line of scrimmage. Norman was pressing receiver Allen Robinson to Trubisky’s right.
Trubisky thought he’d throw a back shoulder fade, but Robinson beat Norman off the line. He would have been open had Trubisky led him, not throw it behind him. Norman easily intercepted it at the 1.
Trubisky said the decision was “a little pre-determined on my part,” while Nagy tried to defend his quarterback.
“It’s hard because you’ve got a guy who we feel is one of the best receivers in the game and he’s really good at those types of throws and they were just off on that. … ” Nagy said. “We’ve just got to understand on offense that when you’re in the red zone like that and you’re down there, you cannot turn the ball over.”
The Bears were playing 2-man defense — with man coverage underneath and two safeties deep — on the Redskins’ third play of the game. Redskins quarterback Case Keenum looked to his left, where receiver Trey Quinn was crossing from the right to left with cornerback Prince Amukamara chasing behind. He overthrew him, and the ball landed in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s arms.
“I was just following the quarterback’s eyes,” Clinton-Dix said.
He then followed Eddie Jackson’s. The Bears safety ran alongside, and then ahead, of Clinton-Dix as he sprinted up the right sideline for a 37-yard touchdown.
“He has the best vision in the world,” Clinton-Dix said. “I just kinda followed his jersey number to the end zone.”
Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris and outside linebacker Khalil Mack blocked in front of Clinton-Dix.
“That’s the state of mind — when he gets it, you turn around, find the nearest man and just go,” Jackson said. “We had to get it in the end zone.”
Danny Trevathan landed his punch. On fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, inside linebacker lined up on the left tackle’s inside shoulder. Needing a yard, Keenum took the snap from under center and leapt forward. Trevathan jumped into him and punched at the ball with his left hand.
Keenum tries to "break the plane" on 4th and 1 from the Bears 15 yard line, and Danny Trevathan forces the fumble pic.twitter.com/MgHI7rijtE— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) September 24, 2019
“It was just a perfect timing,” Trevathan said. “I’ve been practicing that for a while. Finally I got that Mike Tyson punch-out, so it felt good.”
On the first play of the fourth quarter, tight end Vernon Davis — who first entered the league in 2006 — caught the ball and attempted to hurdle Amukamara. Davis had successfully hurdled an Eagles defender for a Week 1 touchdown.
The Bears’ cornerback wasn’t buying it. Rather than lower his head to make a tackle, he backed up when Davis began his jump. When he came down, Amukamara simply pushed him out of bounds.
“You can tell how he was giddying up and galloping,” Amukamara said. “I sold it so good.
“Of course I could have took his legs out or hurt him. But him being in Year 13 or 14 and me being in Year 9, not trying to hurt [him], just making sure to get him out of bounds.”