The Chicago Bears ran 37 plays against the Panthers on Sunday. They picked up five first downs. They racked up 153 yards on offense -- 2 more yards than Bears safety Eddie Jackson totaled on returns of turnovers. They attempted seven passes and completed four. And they won.
On Sunday, the Bears beat the Panthers, 17-3, with two defensive touchdowns and an all-around incredible defensive effort, which means Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will get credited with a win after completing 4 of 7 passes for 107 yards -- Cam Newton had half as many completions (two) to Bears players!
As a result, Trubisky joined Tim Tebow in an exclusive club. Trubisky is the first quarterback to "win" a game with fewer than five completions since -- you guessed it -- the Tebow-quarterbacked Broncos beat the Chiefs by completing 2 of 8 passes.
Mitchell Trubisky had 4 completions today— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 22, 2017
He is 1st non-injured starting QB to win gm with fewer than 5 completions since Tim Tebow in 2011
Those two games only have one thing in common: John Fox, the current coach of the Bears and the coach of the Broncos for that 2011 game. And when Fox coached the Panthers, he beat the Falcons in 2006 despite his quarterback, Chris Weinke, completing four of seven pass attempts for 32 yards and a touchdown. Fox just has a knack for it, I guess.
It's fitting then that Fox thought Trubisky did "well" on Sunday.
Bears coach John Fox, on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky: "He managed the game pretty well."— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) October 22, 2017
It gets better. According to NFL Research, the Bears became the first team to win consecutive games with fewer than 10 completions since -- you guessed it -- the Tebow Broncos in 2011. That Broncos team won three straight games, so the Bears will need to beat the Saints next week to tie them. In Trubisky's past two wins, he's completed a dozen total passes.
And somehow, the Bears are 3-4 and not completely out of the playoff picture. Though the Bears' strategy of pounding the ball, coddling Trubisky and playing top-notch defense has worked in the past two weeks, they'll need to adopt a more sustainable strategy if they're hoping to make a surprise run at the postseason. Namely, they'll need Trubisky to begin demonstrating why he was the second pick in this year's draft. It's not Trubisky's fault he completed only four passes on Sunday. He only attempted seven. And for what it's worth, one of his completions ended up being pretty important:
.@MTrubisky10 goes DEEP and finds @_Twenty8_ for a 70-yard gain. #DaBears pic.twitter.com/S9uE3Q0iqq— NFL (@NFL) October 22, 2017
But the Bears need more out of their passing game if they're going to make the leap from a competitive team to a playoff team. It won't be easy. Their receiving corps might just be the worst in the league and their quarterback is clearly still adjusting to the NFL.