The Chicago Bears lost on Sunday in a game that they should have won.
After finally getting into a groove in the third quarter, the Bears blew an 11-point lead to the Miami Dolphins. From poor play calling to a lack of defensive stamina to several blown calls by referees, there were several factors that contributed to Chicago’s second loss of the season.
One of those factors, though, was not quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Despite a relatively slow start, Trubisky put together one of the best outings of his career. Completing 22 of his 31 passing attempts for a total of 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, the sophomore signal-caller reached his second-highest total in both passing yards and touchdowns in a single game. This performance comes just one game after his outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he became the first quarterback in Bears history to throw for six touchdowns since Johnny Lujack in 1949, as well as the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for six or more touchdowns and over 350 passing yards while simultaneously rushing for over 50 yards.
The statistics are impressive, sure, but Trubisky is also improving in the eye test. He can still struggle with forcing throws and trusting his initial read too much, but he has also shown better poise in the pocket than he did earlier in the year. His touch on deep throws is starting to look more like that of a true franchise quarterback. His accuracy and overall ball placement on shorter and intermediate passes have gotten better, too. Add those to his physical attributes - his size speed and arm strength - and Trubisky is playing the part of a quarterback capable of winning many football games.
What may be just as impressive, though, is that the 2017 first-round pick managed to put together two fantastic showings in back-to-back games. The fact that Trubisky threw for over 300 yards in consecutive performances shows that he might not be just a flash in the pan. He will still have his fair share of down games, as basically all young quarterbacks do. However, he proved to the world this week that he is not just a one-week wonder: he is the real deal.
Typically, the North Carolina alumnus is flanked by dominant defensive play. Bears fans saw firsthand in Week 4 what their team is capable of when both sides of the ball show up. This week, that was not the case. Even though Chicago’s vaunted defense put together their worst performance of the 2018 season, these types of games will not be the norm for them. They won’t be playing in stadiums with heat indexes of over 100 degrees every week.
Sunday’s loss will undoubtedly come back to bite the Bears later on in the season. With a challenging schedule still ahead of them, they cannot afford to fall victim to any more trap games this season. In the end, though, the most important thing is that Mitchell Trubisky is progressing well. With all of the moves that the Bears made to invest in him, it is encouraging to see their strategy paying off.
Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also the lead NFL Draft analyst for The Blitz Network, and he additionally covers the NFL Draft for USA Today’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.