CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s career-best 81-yard rushing performance on Sunday wasn’t enough to cover up his obvious shortcomings in Chicago's 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots.
To beat a team the caliber of the perennially playoff-bound Patriots, Trubisky had to be nearly perfect.
To his credit, Trubisky was brilliant when flushed outside the pocket. The second-year quarterback frustrated the New England defense -- and mesmerized the Soldier Field crowd -- with an 8-yard sideline-to-sideline touchdown run that, thanks to Trubisky’s athleticism and creativity, covered 70 yards of the field.
Later, Trubisky scrambled for 39 yards to set up another Chicago score.
The passing game, however, was an entirely different story.
Trubisky was off the mark for most of the game. The 2017 second overall draft pick completed just 8 of 20 throws for 92 yards in the first half,averaging only 4.6 yards per attempt, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The final 30 minutes were just as bad.
At one point, Trubisky was 0-of-10 with two interceptions on tight-window throws, per ESPN Stats & Information.
Trubisky almost had a third interception when he, oddly, underthrew a pass in the end zone to offensive lineman Bradley Sowell, who had reported as an eligible receiver on the play.
Even after a late-fourth-quarter touchdown to tight end Trey Burton and a last-second, 54-yard Hail Mary to Kevin White (which failed to score), Trubisky’s numbers were a disappointing 26-of-50 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions (69.8 quarterback rating).
A groin injury for wide receiver Allen Robinson certainly didn’t help Chicago’s situation on offense, but the Bears needed Trubisky to step up -- and for the most part on Sunday, he did not.
But Trubisky wasn’t the only culprit, just the most visible.
Chicago’s special teams were a train wreck, surrendering a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown and a blocked punt that the Patriots scooped up for a score.
And Chicago’s highly touted defense struggled to overcome Khalil Mack’s ankle problem. Mack was active on Sunday, but you barely noticed him. Instead of attacking Tom Brady, Mack spent most of the day dropping back in pass coverage -- a clear indication that the star pass-rusher's ankle injury is a major problem.
Mack was credited with only one tackle.
There was a different vibe leading up to the game. For the first time in seemingly forever, the Bears were involved in a game that generated national interest.
The buildup was great.
The result, unfortunately, was the same for the Bears.