How embattled Mitchell Trubisky led Bears to improbable rally against Lions

USATSI - Tim Fuller
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Minutes after Bears 27, Lions 23Nick Foles found Mitchell Trubisky in the locker room. Foles smiled.

“Whew!” Foles said. “What a month we’ve been through!”

Longer than that, really, for Trubisky. The Bears didn’t pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option in the spring. The quarterback picked before Mahomes and Watson, now the two highest-paid players in history, and now he had an expiration date. The Bears traded for Foles and agreed to pay him $24-million over three years; when coach Matt Nagy put Foles and Trubisky in competition for the starting job, it looked like he was setting the stage for Foles to win the job. Then a funny thing happened. After five weeks in competition, Trubisky won the job. But he didn’t win the job forever. And when he was firing high and wide again in the first half Sunday in Detroit, Bears fans agonized anew. Same old Trubisky.

Detroit 23, Chicago 6, 18 minutes left.

“How do you avoid falling into thinking, Here we go again?” I wondered Sunday night. Trubisky, back in Chicago, was driving home now.

“You can’t go back to that dark place,” Trubisky said. “You can’t go back to, My stats aren’t any good. It’s happening again. At times like that, I find myself focusing on my teammates, the guys you grind with. Our relationships run deep. We lean on each other. And I think you’ve just got to believe in yourself, believe you can do it, there’s still time.”

NFL Week 1: Mitchell Trubisky
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. (Getty Images)
Allen Robinson made an acrobatic catch for 22 yards to key the ensuing drive, and Trubisky threw a two-yard box-out TD to Jimmy Graham to start the rally. On TV, Dick Stockton said the Bears getting their offense going was “like pulling teeth in the dentist chair.” And that’s what the day’d been like. The next drive was like that, Trubisky taking an 18-yard sack to make it fourth-and-41. Then he engineered a 55-yard scoring drive, finishing it with a one-yard TD to Javon Wims. Now it was getting interesting. And when Matthew Stafford threw a tipped pick just before the two-minute warning, the Bears had a shot from 37 yards away to win it.

With first-and-10 at the Detroit 27 at the two-minute warning, Trubisky and Nagy talked on the sideline. The call was a corner route to Miller, the third-year wideout from Memphis.

“Dude,” Nagy told Trubisky, “you’re gonna throw a friggin’ touchdown here!”

“I’ll tell you what was crazy,” Trubisky said Sunday night. “I was watching the game on the plane home from Detroit, and that play came up, and the receivers coach, Mike Furrey, said to me, ‘You see what 12 did?’ “

Twelve for the Bears is wideout Allen Robinson. Said Trubisky: “Allen Robinson’s got his back turned to the ball, can’t see it, but has his arms raised in the air before the ball even gets to Anthony Miller. He knew.”

Think of the significance of that. Trubisky would have to throw this corner route to Miller about 35 yards in the air. It’s likely Miller would have a cornerback in close coverage. If you saw Trubisky on Sunday, or most of last year, it’s not entirely logical to have confidence in Trubisky to throw an accurate pass 35 yards through the air. But Robinson did have confidence, evidently.

The throw was a strike. Chicago was the beneficiary of rookie Lions back D’Andre Swift dropping the potential winning touchdown pass in the final seconds, but no one was raining on Trubisky’s parade Sunday night. A rally like this one, and a strike like the winning throw to Miller, was, for one building-block week, something the Bears needed desperately. Nagy needed it too. He’s joined at the hip with Trubisky, and was when he made the starting call 10 days ago.

“Coach called me in on a Friday, and he kind of was building up to telling me for a long time,” Trubisky said. “I kind of didn’t believe it at first. I was very detailed in my work. My back was against the wall, obviously, in camp, and all you can do is fight and move forward and show my teammates I can still be the guy.

“I was quiet, but I was happy. Really happy. Playing in the NFL is a dream come true for me. I will never take it for granted. At the same time, I’m totally grateful for Nick. He’a an amazing teammate. Here we are, in this competition this summer, and he’d say to me out on the field, ‘Wow, great throw! Awesome! You’re trusting it now, you’re seeing it.’ He’s given me so many enlightening points. He’s a guy I want in my corner.”

One game doesn’t make a comeback. Trubisky has to stack a bunch of quarters like this fourth quarter together. He still looks tentative at times, and on too many throws Sunday was not accurate. That’s got to improve for him to be the long-term guy, anywhere. But for one week at least, the promise of 2017 lives.

“It’s crazy,” Trubisky said. “I do catch a lot of crap. But like coach says, you’ve got to enjoy the wins in the NFL, and I’m going to. This was a special day. I’m thankful for what I have in life, especially now, with COVID-19 and social injustice everywhere. I’m really grateful just to be playing football right now.

“The game’s made me a better man, a better person. It’s made me tougher. It’s why I never gave up today.”

NFL Week 1: Trubisky and Lions defender Romeo Okwara
Lions defensive lineman Romeo Okwara and Trubisky. (Getty Images)
Just before he got off the phone, Trubisky said, “It’s good to see hard work pay off.”

You might love the Bears, or hate the Bears. You might have given up on Trubisky long ago. But in a time when we weren’t sure football would happen at all—and with so much uncertainty about the pandemic facing us—you take the stories like this one and say, “Good to have football back.”

Read more in Peter King’s Football Morning in America column

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers vs Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – 49ers at Broncos

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

 RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – Live stream, TV Channel, Game Preview


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: PFT’s Week 2 2022 NFL picks


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the San Francisco 49ers vs the Denver Broncos this Sunday, September 25 at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

Starting this week, Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo made an extra $350,000 on Sunday, and it could happen more often

San Francisco 49ers

After falling 19-10 in their season opener against the Chicago Bears, The San Francisco 49ers (1-1) bounced back in week 2 with a dominant 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday afternoon. However, the team lost starting QB Trey Lance in the process. Lance, who went 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, was carted off the field in the 1st quarter with a broken ankle that will require season-ending surgery. Jimmy Garoppolo is now back in the starting spot after the 49ers spent the majority of this offseason trying to trade him. San Francisco gave Garoppolo permission to seek a trade in July but ended up restructuring his contract with the intent of keeping him as the backup behind Lance.

RELATED: Trey Lance – I will be back better than ever

Garoppolo finished 13-of-21 for 154 passing yards with 1 passing touchdown and also rushed for a touchdown in Sunday’s win. While he was proud of his performance, Garappolo said the win was bittersweet.

“It felt good to be back out there. I feel terrible for Trey. I’ve been on that side of it. This league is tough.” Garoppolo told reporters at 49ersWebzone.com. “Everyone has their share of injuries but that sucks for him. I feel bad for him but he’s our brother and we’ll pick him up. . . . I’m comfortable here. The players, the scheme, all that stuff, the locker room, I’m comfortable. I’m familiar with it. I’m not saying I knew this was going to happen but I was ready for this in case it did happen and just want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo – Return to 49ers offense just like riding a bike

Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos (1-1) picked up their first victory of the season last Sunday with an ugly 16-9 win over the Houston Texans. The Broncos’ offense struggled for most of the game and first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett once again received criticism and even boos from the crowd for some questionable plays. Hackett, the former offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers (2019-2021) under Matt LaFleur, told reporters after the game that he will work to make his playcalling more efficient.

“I think I just need to be sure I clean up exactly what I’m hearing, where I’m going with, and make sure I’m on the same page for Russ. I think that will make us more efficient. ”

RELATED: Nathaniel Hackett – I need to do better making faster and quicker decisions

Wilson finished 14-of-31 passes for 219 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and three sacks in Sunday’s win. The 9-time Pro-Bowler and 2014 Super Bowl Champion signed a 5-year, $245 million extension with the Broncos earlier this month making him the second highest paid player in the league in terms of average annual salary ($49M). The franchise is hoping the veteran QB can help lead the Broncos to their first playoff appearance since 2015.

RELATED: Russell Wilson – There will be tough times, all that matters is the win


How to watch the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos:

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!