CHICAGO - This is the man who the Bears moved up in the draft to take. This is the leader that Ryan Pace believed would be the face of a new era of the franchise. This is the way a Matt Nagy offense should run.
Questions about Mitchell Trubisky will continue even after Sunday, but a number were answered on a memorable day at Soldier Field.
The quarterback delivered his best performance in a Bears uniform against the Bucs on Sunday, throwing six touchdown passes to go along with his 354 yards on 19-of-26 passing in a 48-10 victory that showed off the best of their new coach's offensive scheme.
Five of those scoring throws came in the first half, and his total of six is the second-most in a game in franchise history. Trubisky equalled Johnny Lujack's total from December 11, 1949, when he threw for six touchdowns against the Chicago Cardinals at Wrigley Field. To put the performance in perspective, the quarterback had only nine touchdown passes in his first 15 games in the NFL.
Taylor Gabriel caught two of the touchdown throws with Trey Burton, Josh Bellamy, Tarik Cohen, and Allen Robinson all snagging a scoring throw.
He only needed two of those touchdowns for a victory thanks to another impressive effort by the defense, who forced three turnovers on the afternoon, all on interceptions. Linebacker Kahlil Mack had another strip-sack in the first half, becoming the third player in NFL history to have one of those plays in four consecutive games. Robert Mathis and Simeon Rice were the others to pull off that feat, as Mack continues his incredible start to his Bears' tenure.
All of these efforts kept the Bears in first place by themselves in the NFC North as they head to the bye week.
For a third time in four games, Trubisky led a scoring drive on the Bear's first possession, completing the 75-yard march with a 39-yard touchdown pass to an open Trey Burton in the endzone. On the following series, Trubisky threw a perfect corner route to Allen Robinson, who pulled in the pass to complete the 12-yard scoring play to make it 14-0.
In the second quarter, Trubisky opened it up even more. He tossed three touchdown passes in the 15 minutes - a nine-yard strike to Cohen, a 20-yard scoring throw to Josh Bellamy, then the first of Gabriel's trips to paydirt. He even led a last-minute, 59 -yard drive in the first half that ended with a 50-yard Cody Parkey field goal that made it 38-3 at the break.
Trubisky found Gabriel for his second touchdown of the game in the first five minutes in the second half, giving him six on a most memorable afternoon for the signal caller.