LANDOVER, Md. — Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears play in the first half of a 40-20 win over the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field on Thursday.
Fields threw three touchdowns in the opening two quarters — two to DJ Moore and one to Cole Kemet — to help the Bears take a 27-3 halftime lead.
The Commanders opened the second half with a touchdown on their first drive, but the deficit was too big as the Bears held on to snap a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak from last season.
The win moved Chicago to 1-4 on the season. Washington fell to 2-3 with the loss.
The bears had had enough of the negativity, external noise, and heartache they endured for 11 months. Wasting no time on distractions in a short week, Chicago ended its 14-game losing streak and beat the Commanders on the road.
Last week, Fields felt the Bears’ offense finally started to show its mark. After a lightning-fast start and a sluggish third quarter, Chicago finally put an opponent away and showed beyond doubt in the final minutes of the game.
A week after giving up 21 points in a disastrous loss, the Bears’ 20-point victory was tied for the fourth-most in NFL history by a team entering a double-digit losing streak.
To buy/sell breakout performance: DJ Moore found the end zone on two of Chicago’s five scoring drives in the first half. Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller and his Randy Moss-like catch at the first-half stat line (five catches, 137 yards, 2 TDs) helped the Bears build a 24-point lead at the half and LeBron James marveled at the receiver’s explosiveness. X. Moore’s fourth-quarter touchdown — his third of the game — put the game away for Chicago on a night.
Motivational Trend: The Bears sacked Commander QB Sam Howell five times — the team had just two sacks in the previous four games — but two of those came from linebacker TJ Edwards and cornerback Greg Stroman Jr. (who also set a team record). first interception of the season against a starting quarterback). Chicago was determined to apply pressure with its four down linemen, but the streak didn’t break until Yannick Nagau overthrew Howell on second-and-9 in the fourth quarter. DeMarcus Walker and Rasheem Green recorded two more sacks late.
QB Breakdown: Fields became the first Bears quarterback to throw three or more touchdowns in back-to-back games since the 1970 merger. He built on his three good quarters against the Denver Broncos and finished 43 of 64 pass attempts for 617 yards, eight touchdowns and an interception over his past two games, with a 131.2 passer rating. Most notably, a slow start to the second half was a hindrance when he found Moore for a 56-yard touchdown with 4:18 left.
Next game: vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Oct. 15)
The Chiefs’ defense must provide a foundation as their offense matures. Instead, the defense ruined another play.
The Chiefs allowed at least 30 points for the fourth straight game in a 40-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. The Commanders (2-3) have lost three straight, including their last two home games by a combined score of 77-23.
Losing at home is one thing for Buffalo; Losing at home to previously winless Chicago was another. Considering the Commanders had a young quarterback in Howell, the defense had a lot more to offer. Instead, it’s giving up big plays and hasn’t caused a turnover in the last two games.
The defense has been talking about getting off to a fast start all offseason and summer, knowing the unit added only one new starter in linebacker Cody Barton in addition to first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes. But the generals were worse. Thursday, their 21st-ranked offense entered the game in both points and yards and allowed a season-high 40 points and 451 yards. Washington should work with this group. It’s a chance to gain momentum with upcoming games at Atlanta and the New York Giants. Instead the team leaves this game with many questions about its defense — its future.
Problematic trend: Washington’s defense continues to allow many big plays. The Chiefs allowed 13 plays of 25 yards or more, tied for worst in the NFL. They allowed three more in a 27-3 deficit in the first half alone Thursday night. A major culprit was a seemingly inconsistent secondary. Rookie Emmanuel Forbes, who was benched in the second half, struggled to allow big plays. Again there were big gaps in coverage that Fields exploited.
Problematic Trend, Part 2: Poor pass protection. It was another season-long stretch of trouble as Howell was sacked five more times, giving up 29 runs on the season. The Bears, who entered with two sacks in four games, applied consistent pressure with a four-man rush and blitz. Some of the problems stem from Howell’s need to progress quickly through his reading. But the line has been pretty inconsistent in this area, and a quarterback with six starts on his resume should get some extra help.
QB Breakdown: Howell’s development is critical to the franchise’s future. Howell once again showed that he is a resilient and tough quarterback. After a rough first half — 9-for-13, 71 yards and an interception — he threw for 298 yards in the second half. He moved well in the pocket, was patient on underneath throws, and even though the Generals lost, he continued to show he could improve. Accelerating his progressions and learning to protect himself from hits should be important points going forward.
Next game: at Atlanta Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Oct. 15)
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