LANDOVER, MARYLAND – After the Chicago Bears’ offense was slow to get going this season, Mitchell Trubisky was excited to speed things up.
Trubisky and the Bears used a no-huddle, hurry-up tempo to snap out of their offensive funk and score 28 first-half points on the way to beating the Washington Redskins 31-15 Monday night. After no passing touchdowns the first two games of the year, Trubisky connected with Taylor Gabriel on three of them in the second quarter alone.
The 2017 second overall pick looked at ease with a fast-paced approach and picked apart Washington’s porous defense on 25 of 31 passing for 231 yards. It was the offensive explosion Trubisky predicted would happen this week.
“It just felt like the tempo helped us out a little bit,” Trubisky said. “If everyone just continues to stick together and execute our plays and believe and just go out there and make plays, it’ll be a fun offense.”
Chicago (2-1) had just a 1-yard touchdown run to show for its first two games, and Trubisky entered the night with a completion percentage of 58.3 and ranked near the bottom of the league in yards per attempt. Facing the Redskins (0-3) brought out some of the best in Trubisky.
“Hat’s off to him,” said Washington linebacker Cole Holcomb, who was roommates with Trubisky at North Carolina. “I always knew he was a good quarterback. He struggled a little bit, but he came out and he played a good game.”
Trubisky had 173 yards in the first half alone before throwing an interception at the goal line in the third quarter.
With scores of 1, 3 and 36 yards, Gabriel joined Mike Ditka in 1963 as the only Bears receivers with three TD catches in the first half of a game. Gabriel made six catches for 75 yards before leaving in the second half with a concussion.
Chicago took advantage of five turnovers by Washington quarterback Case Keenum: two interceptions by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, including a pick six, another by Kyle Fuller and fumbles forced by Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan.
“That’s all me,” said Keenum, who was 30 of 43 for 331 yards and two touchdowns that didn’t compensate for the turnovers. “Turn it over that many times as a quarterback, I let my team down. It’s all on me. I take complete responsibility. I have to take care of the ball better.”
With the offense up to the defense’s speed in the first half, the Bears put up 28 points in two quarters after scoring a total of 19 the past two weeks, 12 of which came on field goals from Eddy Pineiro.
Mack had two of Chicago’s four sacks to continue a dominant start by the defense that didn’t give up a TD until midway through the third quarter. Keenum’s two TD passes came long after fans chanted for rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins and booed the Redskins off the field at halftime.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5