A couple of costly mistakes and failure to find points on three vital drives, led the Bears to a 12-7 loss at Soldier Field for Week 6's Thursday Night Football.
Now, nobody was expecting much from the Washington Commanders vs Chicago Bears showdown, but somehow it was still underwhelming...
Despite it being a close game, I couldn't help but yawn my way through each quarter. It wasn't quite as ugly as last week's Colts-Broncos matchup - that had everyone falling asleep on the couch - but bad reads, overthrown passes and generally sloppy play, still made it tough to keep my eyes open. Luckily the last snap of the game added just a dash of drama to make this one vaguely interesting...
While it took three quarters for the Bears to score, they found themselves in the red zone twice in the first half, but poor throws and worse play calls kept them short of the goal line.
On Chicago's second drive of the game, a throw intended for Cole Kmet was picked off on the 5-yard line, while their next possession saw Fields overthrow Ryan Griffin in the endzone on 3rd & Goal, followed by RB Khalil Herbert getting stopped short on 4th down from the 1.
The struggling Bears offense was joined by a flurry of other mistakes throughout the game. Most notably, a muffed punt by Velus Jones Jr that set up Washington's go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The @Commanders recover the fumble and take over in great field position!#WASvsCHI on Prime Video— NFL (@NFL) October 14, 2022
Also available on NFL+ https://t.co/0NxrLlxiBS pic.twitter.com/s2A9WIEywA
We can talk all day about how shoddy most of the game was, but credit where credit is due - the Washington defense did their job and did it well.
Their performance in the red zone is what secured the win in this matchup, with an interception from D-lineman Jonathan Allen on their own 5 and a fourth-down goal-line stand on the very next drive.
More importantly, they kept this up right down to the wire, as the Bears took a shot for the win on the final play of the game as Mooney couldn't quite make the grab against great coverage.
This close. #WASvsCHI pic.twitter.com/S5OL385R11— NFL (@NFL) October 14, 2022
Although Chicago did an equally good job at stopping Washington from moving the chains, the Commanders defense stood out in this affair.
In one of the worst QB performances I've seen this year, Carson Wentz completed 12 of 22 passes for just 99 yards. I'm not taking a single over on Wentz ever again...
Justin Fields was only slightly better through the air - completing 14 of 27 passes for 190 yards - but shone in the rushing game, as he outran both of Chicago's running backs. Fields scrambled for 88 yards, while Herbert and David Montgomery added 75 and 67 yards on the ground, respectively.
WHAT A RUN BY JUSTIN FIELDS!! pic.twitter.com/vUYD1NLPVg— Brian Y (@byysports) October 14, 2022
The complete disaster that is Chicago's offensive line gave Fields no time to find his targets - allowing 5 sacks and 12 QB hits. He was electric as usual with the ball in his hands, but he just wasn't given enough opportunities to make it work. Sure, there were overthrows and missed reads, but Field's certainly comes out on top in the quarterback battle. I'd say just stick him at running back, but he can clearly still throw the ball - touchdowns are just few and far between.
Speaking of - here's perhaps the best throw of the night, as Field's connected with Dante Pettis for a 40-yard TD. The cameraman failed to do the one thing his job requires, so no full replay here sorry.
Dante Pettis puts the @ChicagoBears in the lead! #WASvsCHI on Prime Video— NFL (@NFL) October 14, 2022
Also available on NFL+ https://t.co/0NxrLlxiBS pic.twitter.com/dYByREK8Id
Minus Pettis 40-yard touchdown, there's really not too much to talk about here.
I guess the star of the show is probably rookie RB Brian Robinson who scored his first ever NFL touchdown. The Alaba star logged 60 yards on the night, but most notably put Washington ahead with just a few minutes left in the 4th. Not too shabby given he suffered 2 gunshot wounds just a few weeks ago.
Touchdown @BrianR_4. What a moment for him! 🙌#WASvsCHI on Prime Video— NFL (@NFL) October 14, 2022
Also available on NFL+ https://t.co/0NxrLlxiBS pic.twitter.com/dsXFRN1nwe
Darnell Mooney featured in the Bear's passing game, hauling in 7 receptions for 68 yards, but was outshone by Pettis who racked up 84 on the night, plus the stunning endzone grab.
The Commander's star wide-out, Terry McLaurin led the team in receiving yards, but only logged 3 receptions for 42 yards. Endzone star, Jahan Dotson was missing from the lineup with an injury - the rookie has already caught four touchdowns this season.
Overall, this was a pretty shoddy matchup, but let's be honest, that's what everyone was expecting. The field-goal-fueled first half left a lot to be desired, which sadly wasn't fulfilled.
Despite out-rushing and out-passing the Commanders, the Bears still failed to out-score Washington. They may have collected most of the game's highlights, but they failed to collect the win. As Justin Field's puts it:
We didn't finish. Missed a wide-open touchdown pass, didn't finish. Fourth-and-1, handed the ball off to [Herbert], couldn't finish it. Last play, couldn't finish it. There's multiple plays in that game that we could've made to change the whole game, but the summary of it all is we didn't finish. It doesn't matter if you drive all the way down to the 5-, 1-yard line and don't score. It's the same thing as a three-and-out and you punt inside the 10. It's the same thing.
Meanwhile, Washington snapping a four-game losing streak must be nice, regardless of how they got it done. It certainly wasn't pretty, but this could be a turnaround game for Ron Rivera and the gang. They may manage a winning record, but in a division with the 4-1 Giants, 4-1 Cowboys and 5-0 Eagles, I can't see them rising through the ranks in the NFC East.
My money's on neither side making the playoffs this year.