Browns give Mitchell Trubisky something to work on 

Given the snowy, frigid conditions at Soldier Field on Sunday, that Mitchell Trubisky completed 14 of 23 passes for 193 yards with an 87.8 passer rating is somewhat impressive. He was lucky enough that the Cleveland Browns are, well, the Cleveland Browns, too: Trubisky began the second half by throwing a pick-six to Myles Garrett, but it was called back because defensive end Carl Nassib lined up offsides. 

But the most important thing to come out of Christmas Eve for Trubisky was this thought: The 20-3 win over Cleveland was the first time this year the Bears’ offense was successful because of Trubisky. The rookie put the offense on his back and engineered three touchdown drives, scoring a rushing touchdown on one of them. 

“It’s just growth,” wide receiver Josh Bellamy said. “He’s just growing. The more he’s out there, the more he’ll learn. It’s just repetition. The more you see it, the better you’ll be. He’s taking great steps forward.” 

Jordan Howard carried 22 times and scored two touchdowns, but only gained 44 yards. In Trubisky's previous best games (Baltimore, home to Detroit and Cincinnati), Howard rushed for 167, 125 and 147 yards, respectively. 

Consider this for a point of in-game growth: Trubisky was sacked three times on third down in the first half, but was able to counter-act Gregg Williams’ pressure with some well-executed screen passes in the third quarter, going of 40 and 22 yards to Benny Cunningham on third downs. 

 

Trubisky did well to scramble when receivers weren’t open, too, rushing seven times for 44 yards. He talked about just “reacting” when he scrambled, which is a good sign he played instinctively on Sunday. He fought his way for a six-yard rushing score in the third quarter, too, and made snow angels with his teammates in the end zone after. 

Trubisky, too, broke the Bears’ rookie record for passing yards, which was previously held by Kyle Orton. 

“It’s about growth and development, getting better each day,” Trubisky said, while praising the players around him. “I don’t feel like I did anything special, continually get better each week and learn from my mistakes.”

Regardless of how bad the Browns are — and, without a doubt, they’re a terrible football team — this was a good game for Trubisky. And the Bears got to have some fun on Sunday, with Trubisky making snow angels in the end zone (at Bellamy’s urging) after his rushing score. 

At some point, the Bears expect that swagger and success to show up in games that aren’t against the worst team in the league. But personally, the Mentor, Ohio native took plenty of enjoyment from Sunday’s game. 

“To play in the snow on Christmas Eve against your hometown team,” Trubisky said, “that’s kind of a dream come true.”