Fields passed three touchdowns in the first two quarters, including two touchdowns by DJ Moore and one touchdown by Cole Kmet, helping the Bears lead 27-3 at halftime.
The Commanders scored a touchdown on their first possession of the second half, but the gap proved to be too great as the Bears continued to end their worst 14-game losing streak in team history since last season.
The win moved Chicago to 1-4 on the season. Washington fell to 2-3 with the loss.
The Bears have had enough of the negativity, outside noise and heartbreak they’ve endured for 11 consecutive months. In just one week with no time to waste, Chicago ended a 14-game losing streak and defeated the Commanders on the road.
Last week, Fields felt like the Bears offense was finally starting to come into its own. After a lightning-fast start and a quiet third quarter, Chicago proved they could finally beat their opponents and leave no doubt in the final minutes of the game.
The Bears’ 20-point win tied a team with a double-digit losing streak in NFL history for the fourth-largest victory a week after a 21-point loss.
Buy/Sell Breakout Performance: DJ Moore found the end zone twice on Chicago’s five first-half scoring drives. His Randy Moss-esque catch outplayed cornerback Kendall Fuller and his first-half numbers (five catches, 137 yards, two touchdowns) helped the Bears build a 24-yard halftime deficit. A lead that even had LeBron James marveling at the receiver’s explosiveness. Moore’s fourth-quarter touchdown — his third of the game — was scored by a Bears receiver on the night. Scored the second-most receiving yards of the game (230) to win the game for Chicago.
Encouraging trends: The Bears sacked quarterback Sam Howell five times — good considering the team had just two sacks in the previous four games — but the Two were completed by linebacker TJ Edwards and cornerback Greg Stroman Jr. (who also recorded the team’s sacks). The first interception of the season against a starting quarterback). Chicago remained committed to pressing with its four forwards, but the defense didn’t break through until Yannick Ngakoue knocked down Howell on 2nd-and-9 in the fourth quarter. DeMarcus Walker and Raheem Green added two sacks later.
QB breakdown: Fields became the first Bears quarterback since the merger in 1970 to throw three or more touchdown passes in back-to-back games. He had a stellar performance against the Denver Broncos, completing 43 of 64 pass attempts for 617 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception over the past two games, with a passer rating of is 131.2. Most importantly, Fields didn’t let a slow start to the second half stop him from finishing the game when he found Moore for a 56-yard touchdown with 4:18 left.
Next game: vs. Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET)
Commanders’ defense should provide a mature foundation for their offense. Instead, the defense ruined another game.
The Commanders lost 40-20 to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, giving up at least 30 points for the fourth straight game. The Commanders (2-3) have lost three straight games, including their past two home games by a combined score of 77-23.
It’s one thing to lose to Buffalo at home; Losing at home to previously winless Chicago was another story. Considering the Commanders have a young quarterback in Howell, the defense will need to offer more. Instead, it gave up big plays and forced no turnovers in the last two games.
Defenses have been talking about a quick starter all offseason and into the summer, knowing that the team has only added one new starting linebacker in Cody Patton besides first-round corner Emmanuel Forbes. But the performance of the commanders was terrible. On Thursday, they held an offense that ranked 21st in both points and yards to a season-high 40 points and 451 yards. Washington needs to get it to work with this group. It has a chance to gain momentum in the upcoming game between Atlanta and the New York Giants. Instead, the team ended the game with a lot of questions about the team’s defense and future.
Disturbing trends: Washington’s defense still allows too many big plays. The Commanders gave up 25 or more yards of offense 13 times, tied for the worst in the NFL. Then Thursday night, they conceded three more goals in the first half alone, falling 27-3. A huge culprit is secondary factors that appear inconsistent. Rookie Emmanuel Forbes came on the bench in the second half and struggled to make the game exciting. Fields once again took advantage of a huge gap in coverage.
A disturbing trend, part 2: Poor access protection. This was again an issue throughout the season as Howell was sacked five more times, bringing his total to 29 this season. The Bears had two sacks in four games and applied consistent pressure through four-man rushing and blitzing. Some of the problems stemmed from Howell’s need to complete his reads faster. But the line has been too inconsistent in that regard and needs more help for the quarterback who has made six starts.
QB breakdown: Howell’s development remains critical to the team’s future. Howell once again proved that he is a tough 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 moves well in the pocket, is patient with throws underneath, and despite the loss to the play-callers, he continues to show he can develop. Speeding up his progress and learning to protect himself from blows should be a focus going forward.
Next game: Atlanta Falcons (Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET)