CHICAGO - With a palpable buzz racing through a comfortable Soldier Field on Monday night, an era began.
There were people excited when he walked about with just a T-Shirt, shorts and headphones. The roars grew louder when he trotted out with his blue No. 10 jersey in full pads for the first time.
Just trotting on the field for the first series earned him a standing ovation from the crowd and a number of waves of the complimentary towels handed out to fans for the Monday Night showcase.
Mitchell Trubisky, it was your evening at Soldier Field.
The rookie quarterback's appearance made for one of the most anticipated evenings for the Bears in the playoff-less era since 2011.
But in the end, it was the mistake of his predecessors that cost him a win in his opening game. A late fourth quarter interception set up a game-winning Kai Forbath 26-yard field goal by the Vikings who beat the Bears 20-17 Monday night at Soldier Field.
Trubisky started his game well, going 7-of-9 in the first quarter for 64 yards but the Bears' scoring came from the defense. Backed up in the shadow of their own endzone, Leonard Floyd was the benefactor of some good coverage as he sacked Sam Bradford in the endzone for the safety to make it 2-0.
It looked as if Trubisky would lead the first touchdown drive of his career when on the second play of the second quarter Jordan Howard broke a 42-yard run down the sidelines for the touchdown. But a holding penalty on Markus Wheaton negated the score and two more penalties on the drive forced a punt.
The rookie quarterback had his first forgettable moment later in the second quarter when Everson Griffen got a strip-sack for Trubisky's first turnover. The defense held their ground and forced a field goal for an unusual 3-2 halftime lead for Minnesota.
A struggling Bradford was replaced for good late in the half by Case Keenum and in the third quarter proved effective in leading a 75-yard drive for a score. Keenum rolled out and found Kyle Rudolph for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 10-2.
But the Bears had a trick up their sleeve when another offensive drive stalled at the Vikings' 38-yard line. Punter Pat O'Donnell took the snap and immediately threw over the middle for Benny Cunningham, who weaved his way through defenders for a touchdown to cut the lead to 10-9. Minnesota was unfazed and got the touchdown back on their fourth play of the next drive when Jerrick McKinnon followed a line of blockers then raced down field for a 58-yard score to make it 17-9.
In the fourth quarter, Trubisky got on the board as an NFL quarterback thanks to some luck and trickery. Throwing across his body towards the endzone, his pass was tipped by a Vikings' defender into the hands of Zach Miller who caught the ball for the score. Then Trubisky ran in the two-point conversion on a double-handoff that ended with Miller tossing to Trubisky on the outside for a score to make it 17-17.