CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- For at least one Sunday of a whirlwind season, the Bears were the team they had envisioned becoming.
The Bears showed resolve in beating up the Texans in a 36-7 win at Soldier Field on Sunday, snapping their six-game losing streak with the type of complementary football that has eluded them all season. They dictated the game offensively, bruised Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson and his underwhelming supporting cast and put a bad team in its place.
Where was this Bears team in the first three quarters of the season? They weren't thinking about that as they reopened "Club Dub" for the first time in 56 days.
"Our season isn't finished," top receiver Allen Robinson said.
Through 12 games of frustrating football, Bears coach Matt Nagy maintained there would be a day his offense and defense both clicked at the same time to earn a victory. And just as it seemed the Bears might be ready to quit on Nagy after a stunning loss to the Lions a week prior, they came out with character and fulfilled his hopes of a complete performance.
On the Bears' first play from scrimmage, running back David Montgomery rushed for an 80-yard touchdown. He had one of the biggest holes of his two-year career blocked open by Chicago's reshuffled offensive line and burst through quickly, running away from the Houston defenders and high-stepping his way to the end zone.
The Bears posted 410 yards of offense and a season-best 6.9 yards per play. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had one of the best games of his four-year NFL career, finishing 24-of-33 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Montgomery rushed for a season-best 113 yards on just 11 carries. Robinson hauled in nine catches for 123 yards and a score.
While the Bears' offense clicked against a Texans defense that entered Sunday ranked 24th in scoring and 30th in yardage, there was more to Chicago's performance. The Bears have had better offensive tempo and balance lately. They've moved the pocket for Trubisky and trusted Montgomery to run the football, which has created openings for other playmakers.
Nagy put it more clearly.
"We're finally starting to create an identity," Nagy said. "You're feeling it. You're seeing it on the scoreboard."
The Bears' defense again looked like the dominant force it was early in the season, pressuring Watson constantly to make it difficult for him to find success.
Watson didn't get any revenge on the Bears, who passed on him in the 2017 NFL Draft to draft Trubisky at No. 2 overall. Watson was without running back David Johnson and top receivers Will Fuller and Randall Cobb. The Bears sacked Watson seven times and held the Texans to 4.1 yards per play.
"We had to look ourselves in the mirror," said linebacker Roquan Smith, who had 12 tackles, two sacks and two tackles for a loss.
For the first time this season, the Bears won comfortably. The victory came against a Texans team that fired coach Bill O'Brien in early October and is looking ahead to a transition this offseason -- but that was also the case for the Bears when they blew a late 10-point lead a week before to a Lions team in a similar situation.
The juxtaposition in performances over the last two weeks only reminds the Bears of their missed opportunities as they sit at 6-7.
Should Nagy be fired by early January, it would be because of his offense's failure to produce at a level that matches the defense. The Bears' offensive struggles prevented a deep playoff run two years ago, led to regression in 2019 and have been the team's greatest disappointment in 2020.
The Bears need to win each of their final three games -- at the Vikings (6-6), at the Jaguars (1-12) and at home against the Packers (9-3 entering Sunday) -- to have a realistic chance of sneaking into the playoffs. But at least they can look to the final three games with hope now.
What took so long for the Bears to play like this? They aren't looking back and wondering.
"Well," Nagy said, "it's just a start."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.