Mitchell Trubisky started fast, slowed down and picked it up down the stretch.
Despite another inconsistent performance by their prized quarterback, the Bears pulled out their first win.
Khalil Mack had one of six sacks against Russell Wilson, Prince Amukamara returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown and Chicago beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-17 Monday night to give coach Matt Nagy his first career victory.
The Bears (1-1) bounced back after blowing a 20-point lead in a loss to a gimpy Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers mainly because their defense dominated in a big way.
Trubisky gave an uneven performance after a shaky opener. The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, he was 25 of 34 for 200 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I don’t care at all what happened,” Nagy said. “I don’t care if he threw four picks in the first half. I’m going to have ultimate trust in him. If he starts going into a shell, then we all get into a shell.”
For all the optimism the Bears generated when they acquired Mack from Oakland just over two weeks ago, Trubisky’s development will still go a long way toward determining how soon they climb after four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North.
He looked good in the early going, finishing a 96-yard drive on Chicago’s first possession by shoveling to Trey Burton for a 3-yard touchdown. He also threw a 10-yard scoring pass to rookie Anthony Miller early in the fourth quarter.
The offense stagnated in between. But the Bears pulled this one out, while the Seahawks (0-2) lost again.
Here are some things to know:
Mack got a loud ovation when he ran out of the tunnel. And he gave the fans more to cheer in his first game at Soldier Field since the big trade.
He has strip-sacks in each of his two games. He also returned an interception for a touchdown last week and consistently had pressure against Seattle.
It’s even more impressive, considering he held out the entire offseason and preseason with Oakland while seeking a contract extension.
Sacked six times in each game this season, Wilson is having trouble staying upright.
Facing Von Miller and Khalil Miller certainly has something to do with that. But the protection hasn’t been good. Receivers have struggled to get open. And Wilson at times has held on too long.
But Wilson focused more on the two TDs Seattle scored in the fourth quarter, though the last one came in the closing seconds.
“The fourth quarter showed us who we are and who we can be. … I don’t think we’re far off by any means,” he said. “I think the margin of error is really small. I’m normally optimistic, you guys know, but I really mean that. I think that’s the situation we’re in.”
Making more interceptions was a Bears goal from the outset this season and Prince Amukamara made his first interception since 2015, returning it for his first touchdown to all but ensure the win with just over six minutes left.
Afterward, he presented a game ball to his coach for picking up his first win.
“I wanted to give it back to him,” Nagy said.
Seattle rebuilt its secondary this offseason and came up with two interceptions, both by Shaquill Griffin in the first half.
“That’s a huge confidence-booster for me and that’s the main thing,” Griffin said. “You want to have that sense of confidence. That’s what I wanted to work on this year, I said, specifically, I want to get the ball into my hands and that’s what I’ll continue to do and continue to work on.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks gave Seattle a lift with a sack after signing on Friday. But how long he’ll be around remains to be seen.
Kendricks pleaded guilty last week to insider trading charges in Philadelphia. His sentencing is expected in January.
Kendricks signed a one-year contract with Cleveland in June after playing last year with Super Bowl champion Philadelphia. The Browns released him after the charges were filed.