Several of Trubisky’s most impressive passes came after he had thrown his only interception of the game early in the third quarter.
On the Bears’ next drive, Trubisky completed 6 of 6 passes for 84 yards, highlighted by a perfectly-thrown 18-yard touchdown to tight end Jesper Horsted that tied the score 17-17 late in the third quarter.
“To Mitch’s credit, he didn’t get rattled,” Nagy said. “We’ve been talking all season about the next play mentality, and that’s what he did.”
After the Lions took a 20-17 lead on Matt Prater’s 24-yard field goal early in the fourth period, Trubisky engineered a late nine-play, 90-yard drive that he capped with a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass to running back David Montgomery with just 2:17 to play.
“David was third in the progression,” Nagy said. “That’s a growth for Mitchell, getting through progression one, progression two and making plays happen. I think that’s what I’m probably most proud of.”
Trubisky masterfully sustained the drive with key completions to receiver Anthony Miller of 35 yards on third-and-four from the Bears’ 16 and 32 yards on third-and-five from the Lions’ 34.
“They were dimes,” Miller said. “The ball was where it was supposed to be and all I had to do was make the play.”
Trubisky led a Bears offense that produced a season-high 419 yards and converted 5-of-10 third-down opportunities. Miller established career highs with nine receptions and 140 yards. Allen Robinson had eight catches for 86 yards and one TD. And Montgomery rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries.
The Bears defense struggled early against surprise Lions starting quarterback David Blough, an undrafted rookie from Purdue who had not taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game before Thursday.
The Lions announced Wednesday night that Blough would start in place of Jeff Driskel, who hurt his hamstring last Sunday against the Redskins while making his third straight start in place of the injured Matthew Stafford.
All Blough did on his first two NFL possessions was complete 4 of 6 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns and a 149.3 passer rating. He hit a pair of wide open receivers for TDs, a 75-yarder to Kenny Golladay on Detroit’s third play from scrimmage and then an 11-yarder to Marvin Jones Jr.
But the defense made key stops when needed, none more impressive or important than when Kyle Fuller dropped running back J.D. McKissic for no gain on third-and-1 from the Bears’ 5 with a shoe-string tackle early in the fourth quarter.
“That was huge, probably the biggest play of the game as far as the situation goes,” Nagy said. “To make a shoe-string tackle like that on third-and-1, that is an absolute game-changer.”
The Lions settled for a field goal on the next play, taking a 20-17 lead. But holding Detroit to three points enabled the Bears to win with a touchdown, which is exactly what they did.
The defense produced a final stop with :29 remaining in the game when Eddie Jackson intercepted a desperation Blough pass at the Bears’ 10 on fourth-and-22 from the Chicago 39. It was Jackson’s first pick of the season.
The victory was the second straight and third in four games following four consecutive losses for the Bears, who conjured up images of last season with an enthusiastic “Club Dub” celebration in their locker room.
The Lions (3-8-1) have now lost five consecutive games and eight of nine since a promising 2-0-1 start.
With the win, the Bears reached the .500 mark for the first time since they were 3-3 and will now enter a difficult final quarter of their season with some momentum and confidence. Their last four games of the season are against the Cowboys (6-6), Packers (8-3), Chiefs (7-4) and Vikings (8-3).
“We all want the same thing, and it’s been a challenge at times,” Nagy said. “But to have a game like this, the celebration afterwards today, the Club Dub that we had going brought back a lot of memories. It felt very authentic, it felt very real, guys were letting their personalities show and I know 6-6 and all that, but today we wanted to enjoy this moment. It felt really good.”