Mitch Trubisky tested how much slack was on the line for nine weeks this season. He pushed the boundaries of commitment, seeing just how deep he could drag the Chicago Bears before drastic measures to save the team from its anointed quarterback of the future were taken. His struggles served as a weekly interactive Boiling Points challenge for fans from Aurora to Orland Park.
Now, against long odds, Bears fans are waking up like Kevin McAllister and realizing they made Trubisky's struggles disappear. Or perhaps the third-year man out of North Carolina righted the ship himself. How it happened is immaterial. The point is, the mood has changed 180 degrees into something akin to two buddies sitting back and reflecting on how they've come through the lean times together to be high on the hog.
Let Kyle Brandt, who quite clearly slipped Fox's broadcast crew a few twenties to repeatedly mention his name on-air, sum it up for you:
Trubisky was once again stellar in Thursday night's do-or-die match against the Dallas Cowboys, completing 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns. The dual-threat nature of his existence reared its head again and the fleet-footed signal caller amassed 63 yards and a score on the ground. Over the past two weeks, he's completing over 75 percent of his passes for 582 yards and a 6-2 TD/INT ratio.
Chicago's three-game winning streak has kept hopes alive for a Wild Card berth and helped quell what felt like an overwhelming tide of negativity directed toward quarterback, coach, and front office alike.
Trubisky and everyone else was careening toward a cliff with no discernible escape hatch. It turns out that the answer was inside him all along. He just needed to realize that, dammit, the player who helped guide a postseason run last season was still there in that No. 10 uniform. He just needed to believe. Insert your bad Hallmark holiday trope here.
Or have six hundred thousand fans ask for an early Christmas present in the form of competent play. Again, the why isn't important here. It's the who and what.
Trubisky is, for the time being, steering the narrative away from a dark place. This may be a redemption story or it may be Final Destination -- in that he can only delay the inevitable result. The next three weeks will go a long way in showing which adventure he's chosen.