Mitchell Trubisky sets Bears record, comes up short of first playoff victory
It should have been Mitchell Trubisky's defining moment, and would have been if not for a field goal off both the uprights and crossbar.
The Bears quarterback drove his team 33 yards after Tarik Cohen's 35-yard kick return and had them in position for the win Sunday, but Cody Parkey's 43-yard kick went off the left upright and goal post for the 16-15 loss.
"We win and lose as a team and really as a family," Trubisky said, sounding like the leader he was during the final drive. "There's never one play that decides the game. There's a lot of things we could have done throughout as an offense, as a defense, as special teams to make the game go our way, and we had a chance at the end."
Trubisky went 26-for-43 for 303 yards, a Bears postseason yardage record breaking the mark of 286 set by Sid Luckman on Dec. 26, 1943 against the Washington Redskins.
"It's never going to be exactly how you want it to be, but we found ways to win all season long," Trubisky said. "And tonight we just came up a little short."
Trubisky had 105 passing yards in the first half, but as the game wore on he gradually started finding Allen Robinson II more and more. Robinson had a 22-yard TD catch along the sidelines behind the secondary to put the Bears ahead 15-10.
"For all of us, that's why they brought us here, me, Anthony Miller, Taylor (Gabriel), (Josh) Bellamy making plays," Robinson said. "That's why we're here. Again, it was fun. We were able to make some big plays to not only extend the drives but to get some chunks.
"That's what it's about. Like I said before, I think it was a few days ago, you know to come out victorious in this game or to give ourselves a shot was we were going to have to create explosive plays."
Trubisky said the Bears found the Eagles' pass defense tough to solve early.
"They do a great job of taking away the passing strength for us, and just making you take away certain spots and throws," Trubisky said. "They were playing off of zone, so we just had to find ways and get creative to get the ball to playmakers.
"And A-Rob did a great job of running his routes and getting open and I was just trying to put it in a spot for him to make plays."
Trubisky also had a near interception in the end zone that was dropped, allowing the Bears to get a field goal in the first half.
"He actually came to me and said, 'I can't do that,' " coach Matt Nagy recalled. "He just left it hanging a little inside. (Eagles) kid made a good play, too."
Trubisky probably wasn't up to rallying the Bears from a 10-6 deficit and driving them toward possible winning points in a playoff game earlier this year, but is a different player now.
"I feel like I've come a long way, but I also feel like I'm really just getting started," Trubisky said. "There's a lot I can still improve on and just this season and experiences like that (loss) in the end are definitely just going to motivate me more for the future.
"I'm hungrier than ever and I can't wait to just get back to work and get started."