O'HARA'S SCOUTING REPORT: Chicago Bears

Mitchell Trubisky sounded like winning the job as the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback was more a team victory than a personal accomplishment.

Trubisky won a training-camp battle with Nick Foles to start against the Detroit Lions in the season opener at Ford Field on Sunday.

It will be the third straight opening-day start for Trubisky, who's had some of his biggest games against the Lions.

"It's just the first step in the process of us having a successful season as a team," Trubisky told the media covering the Bears when the announcement was made.

Trubisky said his offseason work, including drills to improve his footwork and balance, paid off.

"That allowed me to become more consistent and more accurate," Trubisky said. "I feel like I've gotten a lot better in that area."

The Trubisky-Foles competition was one of the most closely watched battles in NFL training camps this year, but there are other issues facing the Bears if they are to return to the 2018 form when they won the NFC North with a 12-4 record. They fell to 8-8 last season.

Improving the defense up front, beefing up the run game and adding impact to the passing attack are priorities.

So, of course, is Trubisky's performance.

Here's a look at the Bears as they begin the 2020 season:

Trubisky's career has not developed the way the Bears expected when they drafted him second overall in 2017, but he has won three straight games against the Lions since losing his first two starts to them as a rookie.

In the three wins he threw nine TD passes -- three in each game -- with one interception and ran for a TD. He threw for 355, 173 and 338 yards and had single-game passer ratings of 148.6, 131.0 and 118.1.

"Trubisky has done a great job against us," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said this week. "He's obviously a very athletic, mobile quarterback. He gets the ball out extremely fast.

"I think he has some great skill players around him."

Bears head coach Matt Nagy said not paying attention to the critics helped Trubisky improve and win the job.

"He worked really hard to get to this point," Nagy said.

"He didn't worry about distractions. He didn't worry about other competition.

"What he did was just try to worry about getting better as a quarterback."

Offense: Improving the run game to help a unit that lacks dynamic playmakers overall has been a project.

David Montgomery rushed for 889 yards as a 2019 rookie, but he averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. And a groin injury sustained late in August slowed his preparation for the season.

Veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-high 98 catches in 2019. Tarik Cohen chipped in 79 catches out of the backfield but managed only 5.8 yards per catch.

View photos from Detroit Lions practice Sept. 9, 2020.

His potential as a big-play threat is not reflected in that statistic.

The Bears added to the tight end position by drafting Cole Kmet of Notre Dame in the second round and signing free agent Jimmy Graham, Graham had 38 catches for the Packers in 2019, second fewest in his career since 31 as a rookie with the Saints in 2010.

Defense: It is still the strength of the team, but the pass rush fell off in 2019 -- from 50 sacks and 27 interceptions in 2018 to 32 sacks and 10 picks in 2019.

Linebacker Khalil Mack had 8.5 sacks in 2019 after registering 12.5 in 2018 -- eight of them in the first eight games -- after being acquired in a trade with the Raiders.

There should be help at defensive end from the signing of Robert Quinn, who had 11.5 sacks with Dallas in 2019, and the return of 2018 Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks, (7.5 sacks) who missed 11 games in 2019 with injuries.

Special teams: Cordarrelle Patterson is truly special. He was All Pro for the third time in 2019, averaging 29.6 yards on kickoff returns with one TD.

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