Thursday's NFL: Trubisky helps Bears beat Cowboys

Associated Press

Chicago — Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears appear to be hitting their stride even if it might be too late to salvage their season.

Trubisky threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score in Chicago’s 31-24 victory over Dak Prescott and the slumping Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looks into the stands following his team's victory.

In a matchup between disappointing teams that made the playoffs last season, the Bears (7-6) came away with their fourth win in five games after dropping four in a row. The Cowboys (6-7) have lost seven of 10 since a 3-0 start.

“I think it saws we’re resilient,” Trubisky said. “We stick together. We believe in each other even when nobody else believes in us. It’s a special group in that locker room. We just want to keep this feeling going.”

Trubisky shook off an early interception near the goal line to complete 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards. He matched a season high for touchdown throws and set one with 63 yards rushing. That included a 23-yard scoring dash early in the fourth quarter, making it 31-14.

Allen Robinson caught two TD passes, and Anthony Miller had one as Chicago tied a season scoring high. Khalil Mack had a sack. Linebacker Roquan Smith left the game with a pectoral injury on the opening drive, with coach Matt Nagy saying it “doesn’t look real good for him.” But the Bears took out the NFC East leaders after beating the struggling Detroit Lions twice and New York Giants in recent weeks.

“Most teams at some point in time will hit some type of adversity,” Nagy said. “We went through that four-game stretch. It was difficult in a lot of different ways. … Everybody’s seeing what type of people we have on this football team. No one’s flinched. We’ve pulled together. We’ve become even tighter.”

Facing a top-10 defense for the third week in a row, the Cowboys once again couldn’t get their high-powered offense going.

NFL passing leader Prescott was 27 of 49 for 334 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 81 yards – his fifth straight game under 100 – and two scores.

Michael Gallup had 109 yards receiving. Amari Cooper caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, but the Cowboys lost their third straight. They lead Philadelphia by a half-game in the division.

“I can’t put a finger on it,” Prescott said. “I wish I could right now, if I could we wouldn’t be in this situation, we would be getting over this and out of this slump, but that’s the most frustrating part, we have the skill level, we have the players, we have the chemistry at times, But we’re not playing together as a team, complementary enough when we need to and we need to figure it out what it is.”

Rookie quarterbacks stepping up

While Tom Brady and Drew Brees pursue Peyton Manning, Devlin Hodges is chasing Ed Rubbert.

Say what?

Manning’s record of 539 touchdown passes could be broken by both Brady and Brees during the final month of the regular season. Brady has thrown 535 TD passes and Brees has 532.

As for Hodges, he only has three TD passes in two games for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Hodges became the first undrafted rookie quarterback to win his first two career starts since Rubbert in 1987.

Rubbert won his three starts with the Washington Redskins as a replacement player during a strike. He never played in the NFL after it ended.

Hodges is one of six rookie quarterbacks to win games this season, joining Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Denver’s Drew Lock, Washington’s Dwayne Haskins, the Giants’ Daniel Jones and Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew.

That group of six represents the most in a non-strike season in league history. Seven rookie quarterbacks won games in 1987. Detroit’s David Blough tries to make it seven this season when the Lions play Minnesota on Sunday.

Beckham’s future cloudy

Odell Beckham Jr.’s disappointing first season with the Browns isn’t even over, and the star wide receiver is already making predictions about the next one.

“2020’s going to be my year,” he said.

He didn’t say if it would be in Cleveland.

Beckham was vague about his future on Thursday during a post-practice interview session in which he discussed his maturity as a person and player and the Browns’ growing pains amid unfulfilled expectations.

However, Beckham, who has not had the impact he or the Browns (5-7) had hoped, wouldn’t squelch rumors that he might not be with the team on a long-term basis.

Asked if he wanted to be with Cleveland next season, Beckham, who is under contract through 2023, gave a muddled answer.

“No one knows what the future holds tomorrow,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you what’s going to happen. My locker is right beside one of the men (teammate Jarvis Landry) that means the most to me in the world. I think about just being able to come to work and see him every single day and how special this could be. I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here — this is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.’

Extra points

Steelers running back James Conner’s aching right shoulder will keep him out of the lineup for a third straight game when the surging Steelers visit the Cardinals on Sunday.

Conner was a Pro Bowler last season after taking over for Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State).

... Broncos star linebacker Von Miller says his sprained left MCL that ended his 95-game starting streak last weekend might sideline him again Sunday when the Broncos visit the Texans.