Mitchell Trubisky delivers for the Bears when they need him against the Lions
DETROIT – If you’ve watched the Bears in their first 11 games of the 2019 season, what took place on Thanksgiving was no surprise.
Yes, the Lions were starting their third-string quarterback and have struggled all season long, but Matt Nagy’s team has made nothing easy this season. Just when you think there’s a chance for a decisive victory, there are always circumstances that make things difficult.
David Blough, who was filling in for backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, showed poise in his first NFL start and helped Detroit lead most of the game. But the Bears got just enough offense and defense late to pull out the victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving day.
Mitchell Trubisky’s three-yard touchdown pass to David Montgomery with 2:17 to go provided the winning score as the Bears improved to 6-6 on the season. Eddie Jackson sealed the victory on the next Detroit drive as he intercepted Blough inside the Bears’ ten-yard line to secure the victory.
Trubisky had his best game of the year for the Bears, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns compared to one interception on 29-of-38 passing. The yardage total is 60 more than his previous season-high that he had against the Giants last week and is the third time this season he’s thrown a trio of touchdowns.
His 118.1 passer rating is the second-highest of the season as Trubisky improves to 5-5 in games he’s seen the bulk of the playing time this season.
It’s the third-straight time the Bears have won a game on the holiday, which is the first time they’ve done so since they won each Thanksgiving game in 1932, 1933, and 1934. The Bears beat the Packers on the road in 2015 and the Lions last November, and now they’ll prepare for another Thursday game against the Cowboys at Soldier Field.
A strong start-to-finish effort seemed possible when the Bears had their best start to a game so far this season. A 57-yard kick return by Cordarrelle Patterson was followed by a 50-yard drive by the offense that was completed with a Mitchell Trubisky ten-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson.
That was the first time the Bears had scored on their first drive since Week 3 against the Vikings at Soldier Field, and Chase Daniel led that march after Trubisky injured his shoulder. It was the first time the starting quarterback had led the offense to a first drive score since the 2018 season finale in Minnesota.
Yet Blough was up for the challenge, and on his first NFL drive hit a wide-open Kenny Golladay for a 75-yard touchdown to tie the game up. He’d follow it up with strong second drive, completing three passes for 46 yards and a scoring strike to Marvin Jones to make it 14-7.
In the second quarter, Blough led another scoring drive that stalled inside the Bears’ 10-yard line and was completed with a Matt Prater field goal to make it 17-7. For the first half, the quarterback finished with 179 yards passing with the two scores in his first action of his career.
As they have recently, the Bears got their offense going late in the second quarter and early in the third. A 52-yard drive inside the final three minutes set up Eddy Pineiro for a 30-yard field goal to cut the lead to seven before halftime.
Trubisky was picked off inside Lions’ territory on the team’s first drive of the third quarter, ending a five-game streak of the team scoring on their opening second half drive. But the second featured one of the offense’s most completed drives of the season, as Trubisky was 6-for-6 in moving the team 80 yards down the field.
Jesper Horsted completed the drive with a diving catch in the endzone for his first career touchdown to tie the game at 17.
After two poor drives to start the second half, the Lions got the lead back on a 70-yard march down the field. If not for a shoestring tackle by Kyle Fuller on JD McKissic on 3rd-and-1 inside the Bears’ five-yard line, Detroit might have gotten a touchdown, but the settled with a short Prater field goal to make it 20-17.
That was followed by perhaps the Bears’ best drive of the season, where Trubisky and Anthony Miller connected on a trio of critical throws. They connected on an 11-yard gain on a 1st-and-15 in the shadow of their own endzone, then on third down connected on a 35-yard pass to get to midfield. Trubisky then hit Miller with a 32-yard gain to get inside the Lions’ five-yard line.
After a penalty, Trubisky hit Montgomery for what would be the game-winning touchdown in another victory that might have been too close for comfort for Bears’ fans.