Brooke Lemke – 23 Sports

After an average season for the Chicago Bears and a mediocre performance by Mitchell Trubisky in 2019, there was much to prove for the Bears coming into their first game against the Detroit Lions. There was also much to prove for Trubisky, which he did by leading the Bears to a 27-23 comeback victory.

Trubisky knew there was a lot on the line for the opening game against Detroit. With Nick Foles being acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason, many controversial questions circulated if Trubisky would start as quarterback or Foles would. After naming Trubisky the starter following training camp, the question became how long would Trubisky last. For him, the NFL opener was more than just winning, it was also proving he could lead his team. 

The first half of the game resembled much of the 2019 season for the Bears, with miscommunications between Trubisky and his receivers, who only completed 8 out of 20 passes in the half. With 22 seconds left in the half and the score tied at six, the Lions running back D’Andre Swift ran for the first NFL touchdown of his career, giving the Lions a 13-6 lead at halftime. 

Matthew Stafford carried his team with confidence in the third quarter. He threw seven straight completions, ending with a pass to Marvin Jones. On the ninth play of the drive, TJ Hockenson scored a touchdown on a pass from Stafford, bringing the score to 20-6 after the extra point. The Lions scored  10 unanswered points against the Bears in the third quarter.

In a big play for the Bears at the start of the fourth quarter, Trubisky found tight end Jimmy Graham in the end zone, bringing the score to 23-13. 

For a large part of the fourth quarter after the touchdown to Graham, the Bears focused on putting pressure on the Lions defense. A few critical moments late in the fourth quarter gave Trubisky the chance to overpower the Lions and show his leadership ability.

Stafford took a crucial sack, which left the Lions closing in on field goal range. When Matt Prater attempted the 55-yard field goal kick, he missed wide right. All the momentum shifted to the Bears, with Trubisky taking commanding control of his team, with confidence. 

With three minutes left in the quarter, Javon Wims scored a touchdown, Trubisky’s second on the day, and the score deficit shrinking to a field goal.

At the 2:40 mark in the fourth, Kyle Fuller had a game-shifting interception in Bears territory that led to a 27-yard touchdown reception by Anthony Miller. The score sat at 27-23 with the Bears taking the lead. The last two touchdown passes Trubisky threw both came within one minute and five seconds of each other, giving the Bears the momentum for the final push to end the game on top.

Trubisky brought his best in the fourth quarter, throwing three touchdown passes, completing 8 of 10 overall passes for 89 yards in the quarter. Overall, he threw 242 yards in the game. The game ended with the Bears winning 27-23 after putting up 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a comeback victory. Trubisky’s fourth quarter performance shows his ability to confidently lead his team to victory. Now the question is: can the Bears carry the momentum from a comeback victory into game two against the New York Giants at Soldier Field?

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