Mitchell Trubisky returns to Soldier Field, stars for Buffalo Bills in victory over Chicago Bears

ByJeff Dickerson ESPN logo
Sunday, August 22, 2021

CHICAGO -- The Bears' past collided with the future Saturday. And the past -- at least for one day -- won by a landslide.

Week 2 of Chicago's preseason home schedule marked the highly anticipated return of Mitchell Trubisky, whom the Bears drafted second overall in 2017.

The looming quarterback battle between Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields and Trubisky -- albeit in preseason form -- energized the city of Chicago and sports talk radio throughout the week.

The Soldier Field crowd greeted Trubisky, who started in place of Pro Bowler Josh Allen, with a mixture of cheers and light boos before Trubisky went straight to work on the way to a memorable homecoming.

Over two quarters in a 41-15 victory, Trubisky led Buffalo to 34 points in seven offensive series. The fifth-year veteran moved the ball effortlessly against a Bears defense that put up little resistance.

"I feel like each week, I'm getting a little better grasp of the offense. ... It was different coming back here in Chicago. It was awesome to see all the guys and coaches before the game, catching up with those guys, and then how supportive everyone in the Bills' locker room was for me," Trubisky said. "I'm just really grateful to be a part of this team."

Trubisky finished 20-of-28 for 220 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 106.2.

"I was excited. I stopped being anxious like three or four days ago and I just felt really comfortable with the game plan, what all we were doing out there," Trubisky said. "My teammates had my back all week. ... I was definitely more excited than anything out here. I just felt really comfortable."

Fields started the third quarter after a mostly forgettable showing by the Bears' offense -- quarterbacked by Andy Dalton -- in the opening 30 minutes of play.

Fields cobbled together an average performance but nowhere near the level of Trubisky's afternoon. Fields completed 9 of 19 passes for 80 yards and rushed for 46 yards on four carries.

The Bears rookie survived a scare when Buffalo linebacker Andre Smith came free off the edge and delivered a devastating blow to Fields, whose helmet went flying on the play. The officials flagged Smith for roughing the passer and the Bears scored on a 13-yard run by Khalil Herbert on the next play.

But at the end of the day, the game belonged to the road team and the former Bears quarterback.

"It felt good to do it against these guys, but I'm also rooting for a lot of those guys on the other side," Trubisky said. "And they're still like family."