THE MORNING AFTER: The first #MitchMoment
BALTIMORE – For just a moment, and it’s a bit hard, put on the blinders when it comes to the Bears nearly 70 minutes of football on Sunday.
They did some great things – got a trio of turnovers, two interceptions, a “Pick Six” and a 167 yard rushing game by Jordan Howard. There were some bad things too, like giving up a 77-yard punt return and surrendering 11 & 14 point leads.
For this game against Baltimore for the Bears, there is just one play that stands out. It was just a for a first down, but it counted for so much more than that in the grand scheme of this day and the future as well.
Call it the first #MitchMoment.
It was overtime and the game still tied at 24 with the next score of any kind bringing and end to an unusual contest.
Just inside Ravens’ territory, the Bears faced a 3rd-and-11 that would either set themselves up for a long field goal or force a punt that could leave the team in a tie.
Dropping back to pass, Trubisky got heavy pressure in the pocket and was forced to step up quickly. Unaffected by the rush, Trubisky evaded one defender in front of him and off the back foot threw down the field.
It was high enough and in the right place to find the leaping Kendall Wright, who came down with the football at the Baltimore 23-yard line. First down Bears, and left Connor Barth in a better position to make that eventual game-winning field goal.
“The offensive line gave me some time, and I had to buy some time myself,” said Trubisky of the third-down throw. “I saw Kendall over the middle, and he was open. He made a heck of a catch. and we made it happen.”
So why this play?
Why not a halfback option pass by Tarik Cohen that’s another example of Dowell Loggains’ offensive creativity that’s shown up with Trubisky? Or perhaps Adrian Amos’ impressive catch then run for a 90-yard interception return for touchdown? Howard’s 53-yard run did the most damage on that game-winning drive, pulling the Bears into reasonable scoring position from the shadow of their own goal line?
This moment tops them all because of what it meant for the past, present, and even the future for the franchise.
Seem a little dramatic, just listen.
Traditionally moments like what happened on that 3rd-and-11 would result in a negative play for the Bears. The wrong read would be mad, the quarterback would be sacked, the ball would get picked off, or if the pass got out it would be dropped. Completing such a throw under duress, in itself, was a pleasant change of pace.
In the moment it provided a bit of redemption for Trubisky, who in a critical moment in a tie game the week before threw an interception when pressured in the pocket on a final drive. It led to the game-winning field goal by the Vikings, but the change of the outcome led to one for the Bears and the quarterback’s first victory.
For the future, the play itself points to the shining potential of Trubisky. On target passes like that one weren’t on every throw against the Ravens on Sunday, but there were on a few that counted. The touchdown toss to Dion Sims was on the move and landed right in the tight ends hands, just as the third down completion was to Wright.
“He’s a different kind of guy. He’s a baller. He gets better every week, and nothing bothers him,” said Wright of Trubisky. “The team didn’t make nearly as many mental errors this week because of his patience.”
It also helps the team and fans do the same. One #MitchMoment down, with hopefully scores of more to come.