‘You gotta trust him’ — Bears vow to stay aggressive with Mitch Trubisky

Mitch Trubisky has given his coaches reason to trust him over the last three games. He’s made only two serious errors. Both of them, though, came when the Bears chose to be aggressive late in the game.

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Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws Sunday against the Vikings.

Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Up three with 3:02 to play Sunday against the Vikings, the Bears had a decision to make.

On third-and-goal at the Vikings’ 6-yard line, the Bears could have run the football. Had David Montgomery not scored — he was having a career day — the Vikings were set to burn their second timeout and let the Bears kick an easy field goal. Those points only would have increased the Bears’ lead to six, and their defense had allowed the Vikings to score 20 points on their last four possessions.

The Bears’ other option was to throw into the end zone. They would have risked an interception, fumble or a sack, but a touchdown would have iced the game.

They chose the latter. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky took a shotgun snap, shuffled his feet to the left and threw so far to the left of Allen Robinson that the pass was picked off in the end zone by Cameron Dantzler, who was covering tight end J.P. Holtz.

Trubisky said the ball got away from him. He would have liked to have the throw back.

But the Bears’ play-caller doesn’t want a do-over. He believes in Trubisky in those situations.

“You gotta trust him, right?” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said Thursday. “Seriously, you gotta trust him. We trust him. So we’d do it again.

“We all wish that drive had ended differently. But we also aren’t gonna go in a shell. That’s not the way to play football. Hopefully, we’ve proven that to you guys, that that’s not how we’re gonna play. We’re gonna stay smart but aggressive. We’re playing to win. I think we’ve tried to do that. We’re going to keep doing it.”

Trubisky has given his coaches reason to trust him over the last three games, posting a 112.7 passer rating and throwing for 736 yards and five touchdowns.

He has made only two serious errors over the last three games. But both of them came when the Bears chose to be aggressive late in the game.

The Bears got away with Trubisky’s mistake Sunday but weren’t as fortunate against the Lions. Up three with 1:54 to go, Lazor chose to throw on third-and-four from the Bears’ 17. As was the case in Minnesota, struggles by the Bears’ defense — they had just allowed the Lions to go 96 yards for a touchdown — contributed to the aggressive attitude.

Trubisky took the snap and, with no blocking help, had the ball punched out of his hands by Romeo Okwara. The Lions recovered, scored two plays later and won the game.

On Sunday, after the Bears got a turnover on downs, they handed off on third-and-six from the 25. That was a decidedly different situation than the pass play one drive earlier. The Vikings were out of timeouts, and the Bears were able to whittle the clock to the one-minute mark before Cairo Santos kicked a 42-yard field goal to go up six.

Lazor sounded as if he would have trusted Trubisky to throw, if he needed him to.

The interception wasn’t a result of Trubisky failing to grasp “the situation or the gravity of that particular play,” Lazor said. In fact, Lazor said he has learned a lot about Trubisky’s focus since becoming the offensive coordinator in January. Their meetings Monday and Tuesday reinforced that Trubisky knew exactly what was at stake late in the Vikings game.

“I’m really impressed with his situational awareness,” he said. “Here, you come in and you can watch film and hear stories, but until you’re kinda in it with the guy . . . .”

The Bears liked the play they called in the red zone, coach Matt Nagy said. But they liked the mindset behind the call even more.

“I think if we’re back in that situation again,” he said, “we’re going there to try to get that touchdown.”

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