Bears defense emphatically seals win as Mitch Trubisky works through more growing pains


The Bears earned their first win of the year, but didn’t get many answers from quarterback Mitch Trubisky. For at least one night, though, that was fine, as the Bears’ defense carried a 24-17 win on Monday night at Soldier Field.

Trubisky was uneven, doing some things well — especially on what, effectively, was a game-clinching drive late in the third and early in the fourth quarter — but threw two interceptions and should’ve thrown another in a third-and-goal spot in the first half. Underthrowing Allen Robinson for his first pick of 2018 was a bad look, and his “happy feet” returned too frequently.

It’s clear Trubisky is a work in progress, and Monday night marked his 14th start in the NFL — this after only starting 13 games in college at North Carolina. Matt Nagy dialed up some good playcalls on Trubisky’s two touchdown drives, exploiting a depleted Seahawks’ defense while tailoring things to his quarterback.

But it was the Bears’ defense that carried this win. Led once again by a dominant Khalil Mack, the Bears held the Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to three points through the first three quarters, with Seattle only getting inside the Bears’ 40-yard line once on their first eight drives. Then, after Wilson dropped a perfect pass over Kyle Fuller to Tyler Lockett for a touchdown, the Bears responded in a way they didn’t last week against Green Bay: Prince Amukamara jumped a pass intended for running back Rashaad Penny and ran it back 49 yards for a touchdown, making his first interception since Sept. 24, 2015.

Then, with their lead extended back to 14, Danny Trevathan sack-stripped Wilson, with Aaron Lynch recovering to drive home an emphatic night for this defense. The numbers show a dominant night, of course, but more qualitatively Vic Fangio’s defense played ferocious, fast football for all four quarters, proving it’s a unit capable of carrying an under-construction offense in 2018.

Players talked last week about needing to keep their effort and intensity high for all four quarters after admitting to complacency creeping in during last Sunday’s loss to the Packers. There wasn’t any complacency against Seattle, as evidenced by Amukamara and Trevathan coming up with huge, game-clinching turnovers in a suddenly-close game in the final half of the fourth quarter.

The Bears, in winning, avoid a dreaded 0-2 start for the first time since 2014 (since 1978, teams that start 0-2 miss the playoffs a little over 90 percent of the time).

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