Plummeting Lions Defense Could Break Trubisky's Fall

Gene Chamberlain

There's a danger at looking into the past in an attempt to improve the future.

Sometimes things change, and the past becomes irrelevant.

The Bears are preparing to host the Detroit Lions Sunday, one of the teams quarterback Mitchell Trubisky absolutely scorched last season. They've looked at film from last year's game at Soldier Field, a 34-22 victory, but to count on a repeat of that kind of success might be presumptuous at the very least.

"That was a fun day and we're hoping to have more of those in the future," Trubisky said Wednesday at Halas Hall.

Trubisky completed 23 of 30 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns with three runs for 18 yards. The Lions were different personnel-wise then than they are now.  The Bears offense is much different than last year.

Trubisky definitely is a different passer this year than last year, but he does see value in studying the film from that win.

"I think we see what we can be," Trubisky said. "Obviously we have the same players we had last year, so we're capable of creating explosive plays, staying on the field, converting on third downs, scoring touchdowns and having that identity and being the team we want to be, and then just going out there, seeing a bunch of guys having fun playing football, running the ball well, (and) big plays open up in the pass game."

Trubisky obviously needs something to end this stretch of poor games he's had. He has played well in two of the three games he has faced the Lions. He has a career 96.0 passer rating against them.

The Lions come into the game with the 30th-ranked pass defense. Strangely, despite upgrading their defensive line with defensive tackle Snacks Harrison last year Detroit ranks 27th against the run.

"I don't know what our average yards per play was in that game (last year) but we felt like the guys were really executing well and schematically we felt well," coach Matt Nagy said of last year's Lions game.

The question becomes how can they regain the feeling on offense they had in that game and in others when they scored plenty of points, because they haven't looked anything like the team that won two from the Lions and Vikings last year in the NFC North.

"We did a lot of good things in both of those (Detroit) games," Nagy said. "But there's other games as well last year that we did things on offense, too, and that's been like the biggest thing that you fight, trying to figure out that why."

For Trubisky, the battle comes his way off the field as well as on it. Failure has led to attacks from all sides.

"He's continued to stay positive," Nagy said. "His teammates have continued to stay positive because they all know — and we all know — it's not just one person. It's not.

"So as long as you understand that and recognize that, it just makes it easier for everybody."

Even if social media and regular media portray Trubisky as a flop on a daily basis, players insist they haven't lost confidence in him to pull them out of the tailspin.

"The outside noise that's going on, it can be tough," wide receiver Taylor Gabriel said. "You know what? I mean, to come back and work and look at your brothers. But he always has a positive attitude about things.

"That's what I love about him."



GM Report