Week one’s loss to the Green Bay Packers wasn’t exactly what Bears fans had seen coming in a season where many have Super Bowl aspirations. However, the Monsters of the Midway were able to right the ship this past Sunday as they took down the Denver Broncos in emphatic fashion.
Good news: it appears that they have finally found their guy. Aside from his clutch game-winner on Sunday, Pineiro has been a major bright spot for the Bears thus far in 2019. After struggling to an extent in the preseason (badly missed an extra point), the former Florida Gator has been perfect in the early stages of the regular-season, making all four of his attempts, including two kicks from 50-plus yards. Through two games, he has been the Bears’ leading scorer.
As a whole, the team looked much better than in the season-opener. In a 16-14 grind-it-out road win, the Bears showed poise that allowed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and co. to drive down the field with just over 30 seconds left on the clock and steal the game from Denver. The Broncos, who trailed almost the entire game, roared back late in the fourth quarter by scoring a touchdown to bring the game within a point before taking the lead with a two-point conversion.
While Trubisky underwhelmed again, perhaps no other play in the game was as big as his 25-yard completion to star wide receiver Allen Robinson to put the team within field goal range with just one second remaining. Trubisky finished the game with just 120 passing yards and zero touchdowns. However, he showed great poise on the last offensive play of the game as he eluded pressure and kept his eyes locked on Robinson the entire time, delivering a strike downfield to put the game on ice.
In the post-game presser, Trubisky reflected on the play by walking reporters through what was going on in his mind.
“I knew it was going to be the last. I liked our call. I knew I just had to buy a little more time to let the middle open up,” Trubisky siad. “I knew it wasn’t going to be open right away, but if you kind of delayed, they kind of play soft and back off as time goes. I think as a defense you just want the clock to run out. I climbed the pocket, Allen was there. He got down and we had enough time to call timeout.”
Defeating Denver at home early in the season is no easy feat, as the team had compiled a 17-1 record in home-openers since 2001 before Sunday’s game. Playing in higher elevation, this is something that has more times than not given the Broncos the upper-hand as their bodies are acclimated to the elements from playing in them year-round.
On the surface, it may have looked like a sure win for the Bears heading into the game, but it was anything but that. It took every ounce of grit and determination to come out with a victory. Additionally, this was a game that many experts pegged as a must-win for Chicago ahead of their daunting schedule that awaits them in the second-half of the season.
There’s still plenty of things this team needs to improve upon in the coming weeks, as the offense has yet to hit their stride in the early-going. This is no shocker, as some rust was expected from them after head coach Matt Nagy opted to rest his starters throughout the preseason. Although, in week two, the team finally got their run-game established, gaining 153 yards on the ground in 29 attempts (just 12 rush-attempts in week one). Trubisky should only get better as the season progresses.
It may be tough-sledding for the Bears as the road ahead presents matchups with the Saints, Chargers, Eagles, Rams, Cowboys and Chiefs for their out-of-conference games. However, they’ll receive what looks to be a big scheduling break in week three when they travel to Washington, D.C. to face an 0-2 Redskins squad. Look for Trubisky and the offense to get back on the right track against a Washington secondary that has allowed the 10th-most passing yards in the league through two weeks.