CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy walked away from Sunday's bitter 16-15 wild-card playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles convinced that Mitchell Trubisky is the franchise quarterback the organization envisioned he would become.
"Nobody truly knows how far that kids come this year more than me ... we're lucky to have him," Nagy said. "I'm looking forward to the future because the city of Chicago is lucky to have that kid at quarterback."
The Bears' offense failed to generate much momentum through the first three quarters on Sunday, but Trubisky finally exposed weaknesses on Philadelphia's defense when he led Chicago on an important fourth-quarter scoring drive. Trubisky delivered clutch throws to Taylor Gabriel (19 yards), Josh Bellamy (34 yards) before hitting Allen Robinson for a 22-yard touchdown that temporarily put the Bears ahead.
Later, Trubisky completed a 25-yard pass to Robinson on the game's final drive and had the Bears in position to kick the game-winning field goal with 10 seconds left, only to have Cody Parkey's 43-yard attempt hit off the left upright and bounce off the crossbar.
Trubisky completed 26 of 43 passes for 303 yards and one touchdown (89.6 rating) in his postseason debut. The 303 yards and 26 completions are Bears playoff records. At 24 years, 139 days, Trubisky is the youngest Bears quarterback with a playoff touchdown pass since Doug Flutie in the 1986 NFC divisional round against the Redskins.
Nagy said he's seen exponential growth from Trubisky, who looked rather average last year as a rookie.
"We threw a lot at him early on," Nagy said. "We threw a bunch at him, and he didn't really have a big library into seeing a bunch of different defenses. So he was trying to learn our offense and then pair it up with the defenses he was going to see. And some defensive coordinators, they did a good job of throwing a bunch of different stuff at us this year, so we got to see a lot of different things. And what he did was early in the year, it was maybe a next play, 'Hey, let's forget that,' and he grew there. So he got better in regards to he forgot about what just happened the previous play."
Trubisky posted a 72.8 QBR in his second season, up for 31.8 as a rookie. He also completed 66.6 percent of his passes (up from 59.4 as a rookie) with 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
"His vision and his progression within this offense got a lot better, because he starts to learn, he starts repeating plays, and so he gets to know the offense. Then he starts looking at the defense, and now he can start seeing, 'OK, was it Cover 3, was it Cover 1, was it 22 man, was it 55 boundary, was it Cover 0, was it quarters?' So he can see all that and test it, and then the last part, I think, is having wide receivers, tight ends, running backs that have never been in this offense before helping him out, as well, getting more volume, and now that trust, and you saw that tonight was a prime example of taking 29 (Tarik Cohen) away but 12 (Robinson) having a big game."
Trubisky's propensity to deliver in big moments is what mostly excites Nagy. Trubisky struggled at times in Year 1 in the new system, but typically he rose to the occasion when games were on the line.
"He's done it all year long," Nagy said. "He's made plays when he's had to. We looked at each other with under a minute to go, and we knew we were going to move the ball down the field, and he did that and he looked at me and he gave me a smile.
"I just told him this is where the story begins and he did it. He did a great job."