Rozner: Bears are all smiles after stealing win in Detroit
It's a good thing everyone's wearing masks these days.
Especially the bandits known as the Bears, because they stole a football game Sunday in Detroit.
But they don't paint pictures on a scorecard and they don't put an asterisk on your win-loss record due to good fortune, so the Bears sprinted back from a road game with a 27-23 comeback victory over the Lions.
D'Andre Swift dropped a sure touchdown pass with 6 seconds remaining that would have flipped the score, and the Bears hung on to capture Game 1 of the 2020 season.
But wow, was it ugly.
Mitch Trubisky is undoubtedly back on the Hall of Fame track, and this you will hear much about in the weeks to come, though inside Halas Hall you would hope they're not pretending anything about this game was pretty for three quarters.
Playing one of the worst teams in the NFL, against arguably the worst pass defense in the league last year, Trubisky was horrible again until the fourth quarter while the Lions were missing several defensive backs to injury.
So, no, it's not just you.
If it feels like you're watching the same game over and over again, it's because you are -- and so is everyone else.
Late in the third quarter, the Bears were 0-for-7 on third down before Trubisky finally converted, which led to an exhausted Bears defense and some long Lions drives.
It's inevitable, as Trubisky remains remarkably consistent in that regard.
Every year GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy tell you it's a new Trubisky, and every year it's the same old Trubisky.
They think that if they say it enough, Trubisky will believe it. They think that if they say it enough, his teammates will believe it. They think that if they say it enough, you will believe it.
And still, it looks precisely the same.
But as bad as he was for most of the game, Trubisky had a brilliant fourth quarter with a ridiculous 143.3 QB rating, playing up-tempo and in the no-huddle, which is when he's at his best.
When Trubisky has time to think, it never goes well for the Bears.
It should be noted that, for all of the defensive issues Sunday, two huge plays gave them a chance. Obviously, the awful Matt Stafford interception inside 3 minutes, deflected to Kyle Fuller, gave the Bears the ball on a short field and a chance to win the game.
The other was with the Bears down 10 and the Lions threatening to run down the clock or maybe score again -- with less than 6 minutes to play -- Akiem Hicks showed up and sacked Stafford, turning a second-and-8 into a third-and-17, and eventually a missed Lions field goal.
If the Lions walk down the field, the game is over. Hicks gave the offense a chance.
But unlike Nagy and the offense, which will pay lip service to being better, the defense knows it has to be better -- especially against the run -- or the Bears have no chance this season.
What's scary is Khalil Mack was invisible after a mediocre -- for him -- 2019 season, and Hicks was very quiet except for that one monster play.
Meanwhile, Nagy also looked the same with so many odd decisions and play calls, refusing to Mitch-proof the offense by pounding the football, using play-action and controlling the clock.
Trubisky continues to overthrow and underthrow receivers, missing easy connections and touchdown passes, and did so with no crowd noise in a road dome. He should have thrown at least 3 interceptions that were dropped. He stared down receivers, panicked under pressure and on the run looked like his hair was on fire.
For the Bears to pretend otherwise is to continue to serve up all that they have for four years of Trubisky. If Nick Foles really isn't a better option, Nick Foles must be one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
Nevertheless, the Bears did not quit when they had every right to -- a tribute to Nagy -- and the result is they are 1-0, proof that it's better to be lucky than good -- though it would be better occasionally to be both.