Tar Heels in NFL: Trubisky throws for 265 in big win; Big catches for Hollins, Ebron; Holcomb, Boston play well

By R.L. Bynum

While the Chicago Bears — and the media and fans — debate whether they should re-sign quarterback Mitch Trubisky, he’s throwing together some good arguments to keep him with the Bears.

Trubisky threw for 265 and two touchdowns and ran for another score in Chicago’s 41–17 road victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and earned a 97.9 passer rating. It’s been an impressive resurgence for Trubisky. When he was benched in Week 3, it seemed likely this may be his last season in Chicago.

“I just feel lucky to be able to play and be back in this offense and be out there with my guys playing,” Trubisky said. “It’s been a crazy season. But I’m just fortunate to be out there. I just love our mindset, where we’re at right now and hope we can keep getting better. How we battled adversity, not just myself. We battled adversity as a team.”

The Bears are 6–2 when Trubisky starts and 2–5 when he doesn’t. He’s helped the Bears score 30 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since 1965. Chicago will earn a playoff berth with a win next weekend over the rival Green Bay Packers.

His day wasn’t perfect. He scrambled and threw into a crowd in the end zone for an interception with Chicago in field-goal range.

Both Eric Ebron and the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled in recent weeks. That changed one week after Ebron was carted off the field with a back injury in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In a 28–24 home victory Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts, though, Ebron had five catches on seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Gio Bernard put up another good performance for the Cincinnati Bengals, rushing for 65 yards and earning 66 reception yards in their 37–31 road victory over the Houston Texans.

The Miami Dolphins have a chance to make the playoffs, thanks Mack Hollins’ big catch on a key drive during their 26–25 road victory Saturday night over the Las Vegas Raiders. Miami is in the playoffs with a win next weekend at Buffalo

Hollins started and had two catches for 42 yards. It was Hollins’ 34-yard reception with 17 seconds left that led to Miami’s game-winning field goal and made up for an earlier dropped pass at the goal line. Hollins also made a big block on Myles Gaskin’s 10-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

Mack Hollins’ comments start at 14:35 in the above video.

Hollins compared the exciting finish to one of his victories at Carolina.

“I had one very similar to this against Florida State where we ended up catching two balls and kicking a field goal at the end to win,” he said, referring to UNC’s 37–35 road upset of the then-No. 12 Seminoles in 2016. Hollins caught a third-quarter 15-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky in that game.

After missing one game in concussion protocol, linebacker Cole Holcomb was back for Washington in its 20–13 home loss to the Carolina Panthers. He had six tackles, five assists, one sack, one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit. Washington can make the playoffs with a win next weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

For the Panthers, Tre Boston had six tackles, one assist, one interception and one tackle for a loss.

The Minnesota Vikings activated running back Jake Bargas from the practice squad. He played seven snaps with no statistics in their 53–33 loss Saturday at New Orleans.

How Tar Heels did in Week 16

PlayerPosition, team, roster statusSeason statistics
Mitch TrubiskyQB, Bears, active
41–17 win at JaxStarted; 24-35-1 265 yards, 2 TD; 2 rushes for 10 yards, 1 TD; 97.9 rating166-255-7 1,803 yards, 16 TDs; 29 carries for 173 yards, 1 TD; 95.3 rating
Eric EbronTE, Steelers active
28–24 win vs. IndDidn’t start; 5 catches on 7 targets for 47 yards, 1 TD56 catches for 558 yards, 5 TDs
Gio BernardRB, Bengals, active
37–31 win at HouStarted; 16 carries for 65 yards; 7 catches on 8 targets for 66 yards121 carries for 409 yards, 3 TDs; 47 catches for 355 yards, 3 TDs
Cole HolcombLB, Washington, active
20–13 loss vs. CarStarted; 6 tackles, 5 assists, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 QB hit37 tackles, 26 assists, 2.5 sacks
James HurstLG, Saints, active
52–33 win vs MinStarted; played all 75 offensive snaps and 8 special-team snapsPlayed in 11 games
Mack HollinsWR, Dolphins, active
26–25 win at LVStarted; 2 catches on 4 targets for 42 yards; played 78% of snaps15 catches for 173 yards and 1 TD; 1 tackle, 2 assists
Tre BostonFS, Panthers, active
20–13 win at WashStarted; 6 tackles, 1 assist, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 interception55 tackles, 28 assists
Robert QuinnLB, Bears, active
41–17 win at JaxStarted; 2 tackles13 tackles, 5 assists
Andre SmithLB, Bills, active
38–9 win at NEDidn’t start; 1 special teams tackle3 tackles, 2 special teams tackles
M.J. StewartCB, Browns, active
23–16 loss at NYJDidn’t start; had no statistics15 tackles, 3 assists, 1 interception, 1 sack
Jason StrowbridgeDE, Dolphins, active
22–12 win vs. NEPlayed three special-team snaps1 tackle, 2 assists
Charlie HeckOT, Texans, active
37–31 loss vs. CinGained eight yards after receiving a lateral on the game’s last playHas played in 2 games
Sylvester WilliamsDT, Broncos, active
19–16 loss at LACNot active for the game3 tackle; 5 assists; 1 tackle on 2-point conversion attempt
Jake BargasFB, Vikings, active
52–33 loss at NODidn’t start; played seven snapsNo statistics in only game
Aaron CrawfordDT, Ravens, practice squad
Bug HowardTE, Jaguars, practice squad
Ryan SwitzerWR, Browns, practice squad
Kareem MartinOLB, Lions, practice squad
William SweetOT, 49ers, practice squad
T.J. LoganRB, Bucs, IR (out for season with leg injury)
Myles DornFS, Vikings, IR
Jalen DaltonDT, Saints, IR
Russell BodineC, Lions, opted out of season

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