Chicago Bears rout Bucs; Trubisky throws 6 TD passes
Mitch Trubisky established a franchise record with five touchdown passes in the first half, as the 3-1 Bears roared to a 38-3 lead at intermission and coasted to a 48-10 rout of the Bucs to maintain their hold on first place in the NFC North.
The blowout at Soldier Field gave the Bears their third straight victory for the first time since the first three games of the 2013 season, as they head into their off week, and it dropped Tampa Bay to 2-2. It was the most points the Bears have scored in a game since a 51-20 victory over the Titans in Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2012.
Trubisky tacked on his sixth TD pass of the day early in the third quarter with a three-yard flip to WR Taylor Gabriel, who also scored the Bears’ fifth TD on a three-yard shovel pass from Trubisky. The second-year quarterback also threw TD passes to TE Trey Burton, WR Allen Robinson, RB Tarik Cohen and WR Josh Bellamy.
Robinson, the team’s leader in receptions through the first three games, chalked up his first TD as a Bear when he hauled in a perfectly placed Trubisky pass for a 14-yard score, making it 14-0 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
On the Bears’ first possession, after Bucs S Justin Evans slipped and fell, Burton was left all alone to haul in a 39-yard Trubisky pass down the west sideline to give the home team a 7-0 lead just 2:40 in.
For the fourth straight game, OLB Khalil Mack had a strip-sack, and he also hit Jameis Winston’s hand as a he threw, resulting in a Danny Trevathan interception. Mack is the only player since 1994 with a strip-sack in each of the first four games of a season. S Eddie Jackson picked off his team-best second interception in the first half.
It was the second straight game in which the relentless Bears defense forced an opponent to switch quarterbacks. The Bucs went to Winston after starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had throw for an NFL-record 400 yards in three straight games, completed nine of 18 passes in the first half for 126 yards with an interception and a 49.8 passer rating.
Trevathan’s interception was the Bears’ seventh this season. They had just eight in each of the past three seasons, which set and then twice tied the franchise low.
On the down side, Bears OLB Sam Acho left the game in the first half with a back injury, and DL Akiem Hicks was ejected from the game in the second quarter for pushing an official.