By Ross Paul – Chicago Bears Writer
Mitchel Trubisky threw for three touchdowns as a dominant first-half display saw the Chicago Bears leave the FedExField with their second victory of the season.
A lot of questions were asked of the Chicago Bears’ Quarterback after failing to produce a single touchdown in the first two games of the season. However, the third-year pro managed to deliver for the majority of the game, guiding his team to victory. This was the first game this season that Trubisky and the Monsters of the Midway showed glimpses of why some considered them potential Super Bowl contenders this season, albeit against a sorry Washington Redskins team.
It did not take long for the opening touchdown to arrive, but, not many would have predicted who would have scored it. Former Redskins Safety HaHa Clinton-Dix intercepted Redskins QB Case Keenum’s pass attempt after five minutes and took it all the way to the end zone. It wasn’t long before Trubisky joined in on the fun in the second quarter. Trubisky threw the easiest touchdown of the season to a wide-open Taylor Gabriel after a well-crafted play.
The famed Chicago defense was out in full force in Maryland. Their franchise Linebacker Khalil Mack, showed why he is considered the best in his position as he strip-sacked Keenum. The ball was recovered by monstrous Defensive End Akiem Hicks on the Redskins 11-yard-line. The excellent defensive effort allowed for Trubisky to pick out Gabriel, once again, for a one-yard touchdown throw just three plays later.
With just 43 seconds left until halftime, Trubisky and Gabriel combined for their third touchdown of the half, making the score 28-0. This was the most spectacular one of them all. Gabriel somehow managed to twist his body and keep his feet inbounds after a wonderful 36-yard pass from the QB.
The Redskins would only score a field goal before halftime, however, the second half saw a slight change of fortune. Keenum, who had three interceptions against him at this point, would find Terry McLaurin in the end zone not long after the break.
Chicago had a chance for a fifth touchdown but Redskins Cornerback Josh Norman had different plans. He intercepted a terrible pass attempt by Trubisky in the red zone, allowing the Washington fans a glimmer of hope. After a 97-yard drive directly following the interception, Keenum would throw for his second touchdown of the game. He found Paul Richardson after a fourth-and-goal attempt from two yards out. The Redskins went for a two-point-conversion after both their touchdowns, but would be unsuccessful both times.
Eddy Piñeiro, fresh off his game-winning heroics against the Broncos last week, would continue his form, converting a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. This made the score 31-15 and almost ensured victory on the road. The Redskins still fought valiantly for a comeback, however, their endeavors would come to a halt after Case Keenum would turnover the ball for the fifth time. The journeyman Quarterback attempted to jump over the Bear’s defense on a fourth-down-attempt. Linebacker Danny Trevathan read the play and successfully punched the ball out of his hands, forcing a fumble. Eddie Jackson recovered the ball, effectively killing the game.
Plenty of positives can be taken from this Monday Night Football clash for the Bears. Mitchel Trubisky finished the game 25/31 for 231 yards with three touchdowns. He still made silly errors that could have cost his team against stronger opposition but showed improvement from the opening game of the season.
Head Coach Matt Nagy’s play-calling allowed the young QB to release the ball early often. This avoided the possibility of overthinking, negating one of the biggest flaws in Trubisky’s game. Whether or not this plan will work when teams are expecting it is one of the biggest questions coming from this game.
The defensive performance was outstanding. They made Case Keenum’s life hell and will haunt his dreams for nights to come. They ended the game with four sacks, three forced fumbles, and three interceptions. They do however have to be more disciplined in future games, as they gave up eight penalties on the night.
The most worrying news to come out of the game for the Bears is that both Taylor Gabriel and Akiem Hicks both had to leave the game. Gabriel suffered a concussion, whereas Hicks was pulled after a knee injury. With a divisional game against the Vikings next week, all Chicago fans will be hoping both will recover in time, due to their importance to the team.
Overall, this was an incredibly important performance for the team. Chicago was expected to walk away with the win and they met these expectations comfortably. This will hopefully bring confidence to the team and allow them to kick-start their season from here.