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Emma: Bears Were Opportunistic Enough In Wild Win

By Chris Emma—

(CBS) There has been a different vibe around Halas Hall ever since the Bears named Mitchell Trubisky their starting quarterback.

Those good feelings will remain after the Bears pulled a 27-24 overtime victory over the Ravens in a wild game in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. Their hope has been justified with a needed road win, which brought the Bears to 2-4 on the season.

The Bears prevailed in overtime because Trubisky did exactly what he was asked to do – open up the offense with his big arm and mobility and give Jordan Howard the chance to be successful. Howard rushed 36 times for 167 yards, including a 53-yard run to set up the game-winning field goal in overtime.

Trubisky extended that winning drive with a terrific play on third down, stepping up in the pocket and hitting Kendall Wright for 18 yards to get a key first down. Connor Barth hit a 40-yarder to win it, and the Bears earned their first road victory since 2015. It easily could've gone the other way.

Sunday's contest was sent to overtime after the Bears blew a 24-13 lead late in the fourth quarter. Justin Tucker hit a field goal with 3:05 remaining, after which the Bears failed to extend the ensuing drive and were forced to punt. Michael Campenaro took advantage of bunched coverage and got free for a 77-yard return, then came with an easy two-point conversion.

It seemed like the Bears were on their way to another gut-wrenching loss – especially when Pat O'Donnell shanked a punt in overtime – but this day was different.

Trubisky did what Mike Glennon couldn't and brought the Bears greater function on offense, while Howard had one of his best games yet. But the difference from past weeks – or even past seasons under John Fox – is that the Bears finally forced takeaways, with three on Sunday. That matched their season combined total in the first five games.

In the second quarter, Bryce Callahan hauled in a deflected pass with a diving effort and returned it 52 yards. That set up a Tarik Cohen touchdown pass to Zach Miller. In the fourth quarter, Adrian Amos took advantage of great coverage from Kyle Fuller and nabbed his first career interception in style with a run 90 yards to the house for a touchdown.

The Bears finally were opportunistic, and it was just barely enough to overcome their own self-inflicted wounds. Cohen had a fumble in the third quarter that the Ravens turned into three points, and Trubisky was strip-sacked in the fourth quarter on a play that could've marked the turning point for a Ravens win. Instead, Amos got his pick-six on the ensuing defensive series.

Of course there's plenty for the Bears to clean up, starting on special teams. The Ravens scored 15 points off two return touchdowns, as they also took a kickoff back for a score.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio called an excellent game, and his unit finally came through with the big plays to change the game. Offensively, there's only room for growth as Trubisky's playbook grows larger.

Hope arrived in the form of Trubisky, and now the Bears have a victory to go with it.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago's sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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