CHICAGO (AP) The snow was steady for most of the day, making for treacherous footing at Soldier Field.
The announced crowd of 41,257 sipped on all sorts of beverages while trying to stay as warm as possible, and stadium workers used shovels to clear the playing surface during timeouts.
A perfect scene for a proud son of Ohio playing his hometown team.
Mitchell Trubisky passed for 193 yards and ran for a touchdown to lead the Chicago Bears to a 20-3 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
While fellow rookie DeShone Kizer threw two interceptions, including one in the end zone, Trubisky caught a big break while playing turnover-free football in Chicago’s second win in its past three games.
”It was cool to be playing in the snow on Christmas Eve against your hometown team,” he said. ”It’s kind of a dream come true. It was lot of fun and I enjoyed it every moment.”
The 23-year-old Trubisky is from Mentor, about 30 miles east of Cleveland. He starred at Mentor High School and the University of North Carolina before Chicago traded up to take him with the second pick in the draft.
While the Bears (5-10) are closing out their fourth consecutive losing season, Trubisky has shown some encouraging signs. He is 93 of 140 for 833 yards in 11 starts, setting a rookie team record for passing yards. He has thrown for four touchdowns and five interceptions, but three of those came during last weekend’s loss at Detroit.
”When you just let him take the wheel, when you let him do his thing, he’s a playmaker,” Bears receiver Joshua Bellamy said. ”He’s an athlete. You can see what he can do with his legs. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball, he’s a great quarterback. He’ll be real good.”
Trubisky completed 14 of 23 passes against the Browns (0-15). He also scrambled seven times for 44 yards, including a 4-yard draw into the end zone for a 20-3 lead in the third quarter.
Trubisky celebrated his second career touchdown with some snow angels.
”I actually planned beforehand with Cody (offensive lineman Cody Whitehair) to let him spike it, but he was in a pile and then JB came over and grabbed me and was like, `Snow angel, snow angel, snow angel,”’ Trubisky said.
Chicago also got two touchdowns from Jordan Howard, who finished with 44 yards on 22 carries on a quiet day. Howard scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter after Cleveland wasted a big chance to grab the lead.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Trubisky was picked off by Myles Garrett on a tipped ball. Garrett ran outside and dashed down the sideline toward what looked like a go-ahead touchdown.
But Carl Nassib was flagged for lining up offside, adding another infamous moment to Cleveland’s historically bad season.
”I made the right decision with my progressions so I kind of got rewarded for it,” Trubisky said. ”The ball got tipped up, that’s part of the game, and it went the other way, but I just felt like because I was doing the right thing it just came back in our favor in the end.”
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
More AP NFL: http://www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL