Trubisky impresses, but Fox says Bears' depth chart won't change
One of the Bears' three quarterbacks was clearly superior in the preseason opener, and it wasn't either of the veterans.
Rookie Mitch Trubisky completed his first 10 passes as a pro, leading TD drives on each of his first two possessions in a 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.
Mike Glennon got off to a disastrous start. Eventually, things got a bit better for the Bears' new starting quarterback, who signed a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency.
But they never got much better.
After 4 possessions, Glennon left early in the second quarter with his team trailing 10-0 and with a passer rating of 0.0, having completed 2 of 8 passes for 20 yards and the interception.
"Lot to improve on," Glennon said. "Was it what we wanted? Absolutely not. But it was the first quarter of the first preseason game."
Trubisky, by comparison, was spectacular. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 166 yards and a 103.1 passer rating.
"Good start, but there's a long way to go," Trubisky said. "I hope it's the first game of a long journey. I just try to instill confidence in my guys that I know what I'm doing."
Coach John Fox didn't add any fuel to a possible quarterback controversy.
"The depth chart's not going to change after one game," Fox said. "That's a really good (first-team Broncos) defense."
Trubisky wasn't the only rookie who turned in a promising debut for the Bears.
A 15-yard punt return to midfield by fourth-round safety Eddie Jackson gave Trubisky advantageous field position for his first possession with 1:55 left in the half. Ka'Deem Carey (31 yards on 4 first-half carries) immediately broke off an 18-yard run but did not return for the second half after suffering a quad injury.
Trubisky, the second overall selection in the draft but No. 3 on the depth chart, then fired an 18-yard bullet to Josh Bellamy. With 13 seconds left in the half, Trubisky located wide-open Victor Cruz for a 2-yard TD, bringing the Bears within 10-7.
In between Glennon and Trubisky, No. 2 quarterback Mark Sanchez, a ninth-year veteran, played two uneventful possessions.
Glennon's second throw of the night, into traffic and intended for tight end Zach Miller, was intercepted at midfield by the Broncos' Chris Harris. The Pro Bowl cornerback returned it for a touchdown just one minute in.
On the Bears' third possession, Glennon was unable to handle Cody Whitehair's errant shotgun snap, and the Broncos recovered at the Bears' 47.
Late in the first quarter, the Bears put together their first sustained drive, but it was fourth-round rookie running back Tarik Cohen from North Carolina A&T who supplied most of the excitement. The 5-foot-6 jitterbug had runs of 8, 11 and 12 yards before the drive stalled at Denver's 39-yard line. Cohen, who rushed for 39 yards on 7 first-half carries, also contributed a 17-yard punt return.
Trubisky began the second half even more impressively than he ended the first half. He completed all 5 of his passes for 50 yards on a 75-yard TD drive. It ended with Benny Cunningham's 1-yard TD run for a 14-10 Bears lead. The rookie, who twice rolled out right before delivering strikes, also scrambled for a 12-yard run, narrowly escaping a sack.
Trubisky didn't throw an incompletion until his third possession, early in the fourth quarter. But he followed that with a 23-yard dart over the middle to Deonte Thompson and a 15-yard strike to Tanner Gentry. The Bears eventually settled for Connor Barth's 25-yard field goal and a 17-10 lead with 9:46 remaining.
The Broncos tied it on a 47-yard TD pass from Kyle Sloter to Isaiah McKenzie with 6:01 left. De'Angelo Henderson's 41-yard TD run with 1:49 left won it for Denver.
Trubisky got the Bears in position to tie the game, driving to the Broncos' 22, before time ran out.
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