(670 The Score) For all the struggles Mitchell Trubisky endured as the Bears' starting quarterback over the past three seasons, coach Matt Nagy still believed in him.
Nagy felt Trubisky could rewrite the story of his young career this season. And what a new chapter it was in Detroit on Sunday, as Trubisky led the Bears to 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to stun the Lions with a 27-23 comeback victory at Ford Field.
Trubisky was 8-of-10 for 89 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, leading the Bears back from down 23-6 to win it.
"We knew we weren't out of it when we were down by 17," Trubisky said.
The opener could've brought the Bears a disheartening loss to start their season instead of a triumphant comeback win. That could've set Trubisky toward a downward spiral that jeopardizes his future in Chicago. Instead, the Bears came back together, with Trubisky leading the way.
Trubisky developed a comfort against the Lions' man defense, with Detroit coach Matt Patricia refusing to change. The Bears needed to identify and win their one-on-one matchup against the man defense to find success, as Trubisky noted. They did that when it mattered most. Trubisky threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham early in the fourth quarter and then a one-yard scoring strike to receiver Javon Wims with 3:03 remaining to pull the Bears within 23-20.
Trubisky was feeling confident at that point but needed one key stop from the defense. That came when cornerback Kyle Fuller intercepted a pass with 2:45 remaining after a deflection from safety Eddie Jackson. Two plays later, Trubisky threw one of his best passes in a Bears uniform on a 27-yard touchdown strike to receiver Anthony Miller at the front pylon of the end zone.
It was the same route by Miller ran in the same spot of Ford Field last Thanksgiving, when Trubisky hit him on a 32-yard strike that set up the go-ahead score.
Even after Trubisky's heroics, the Bears still needed a massive break late to win. Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift gave it to them when he dropped the go-ahead touchdown in the end zone with six seconds remaining. One more incomplete pass later, and Chicao held on for a stunning victory.
"I just appreciate their willingness to keep fighting," Nagy said. "No one ever had their head down. They didn't care about the score. They just know they wanted an opportunity with the ball. And then when you get that opportunity, you got to make the most of it. They did that. Mitch made the throws.
"When we needed it most, the guys stepped up. Sometimes that's how you win. That's what we did today."
The final score still couldn't erase the sloppy performance that Nagy watched for three quarters. The Bears didn't convert on third down until the third quarter. They posted 200 yards of offense and 5.3 yards per play in the first half but had just six points to show for it. The defense was getting gashed by Adrian Peterson, with the 35-year-old running back looking like his 25-year-old self.
Nagy stayed committed to the running game as he sought to create the balanced offense that he planned for over the offseason. But Trubisky was missing open receivers on plays that were set up for success. Backup quarterback Nick Foles' name was trending on Twitter by the third quarter.
The film review for Nagy and Trubisky on Monday will bring plenty of honesty.
"We're not going to let this win deodorize any of the stuff on offense, defense or special teams that wasn't good," Nagy said.
Trubisky flipped the script in the fourth quarter. Just when the Bears seemed doomed in their opener -- a poor performance that would fall largely on the quarterback -- Trubisky delivered the Bears to a comeback win and began writing a different story.
"It was lit," Trubisky said of the postgame celebration inside their locker room. "It was lit. We had a good time.
"Just living in the moment and enjoying it with these guys."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.