Over the past 347 days, the Bears have endured losses in every possible way imaginable.
They’ve been defeated, fallen short, and had their hopes shattered, resulting in a two-digit deficit. For 347 days, no matter how hard head coach Matt Aberflas tried, there seemed to be no respite.
However, Thursday marked a significant turning point for the Bears as they secured a victory that they believe can set the stage for a more promising tomorrow.
Justin Fields and D.J. Moore, the Bears’ third-year quarterback and star wide receiver, illuminated FedEx Field on Thursday night against the Washington Commanders.
In the first quarter, Fields launched a 156-yard pass, with 126 yards caught by Moore. Directed by Fields and Moore, this swift start helped the Bears secure a 17-0 lead.
As Derek Jeter astutely remarked before the Yankees initiated their resurgence in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, “Our history tends to revisit us.”
Undoubtedly, the Commanders showcased signs of resurgence in the second quarter, and as the game progressed to the fourth quarter, the substantial lead that had existed was now narrowed down to a mere 10 points.
But where the Bears had faltered against the Broncos last week, there was something left in the tank of their undermanned defense to keep the Commanders and their quarterback at bay, and Moore’s 56-yard touchdown catch and run brought back memories of “the last time the Bears won” a game with the score at zero.
Fields wrapped up the day with a stellar performance, amassing 282 yards and four touchdowns by completing 29 of his 15 passes.
On the other hand, Moore delivered an outstanding performance, establishing a fresh personal best with 230 receiving yards while adding three touchdowns on eight receptions.
So, let’s delve into the insights we gathered from the Bears’ impressive 40-20 triumph over the Commanders on Thursday evening.
Early Offensive Surge
The Bears’ offensive resurgence, which began in their loss against the Broncos last week, continued on Thursday night. In their opening drive, Fields and Moore moved down the field, securing good protection and finding Moore for a wide-open 58-yard gain. Three games into the season, Fields and Moore connected again for a 20-yard touchdown.
The Bears kept their offensive momentum going in their second drive, as Khalil Herbert’s 34-yard run set up Cairo Santos’ 22-yard field goal.
After the Bears’ defense held, Fields was forced to punt three times, and the offense returned to the field to manage the game in Thursday night’s competition.
Fields initiated his drive by quickly passing to Moore, who took it 39 yards. Five snaps later, Fields unleashed a high-arching pass towards Moore, positioned in the distant corner of the end zone, and Moore took charge from there, using his strength to secure an impressive 11-yard touchdown.
Fields’ stats for the game included completing 13 of 9 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. This particular game also signified a remarkable achievement, being the inaugural instance in his career where he surpassed the hundred-passing-yard mark during the opening quarter.
In summary, the Bears finally ended their 347-day losing streak with a convincing win over the Commanders, thanks to a stellar performance by Fields and Moore. The Bears’ offense sparked to life right from the get-go, and the defense skillfully held off the Commanders, igniting optimism for a more promising tomorrow.
During the initial quarter, Moore’s remarkable 126-yard reception set a record as the most extensive gain by a Bears receiver in the first quarter since Ricky Proehl did so back in 1997.
Fields limited Washington’s defensive barrage in the first half to a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Kmet, resulting in a halftime score of 27-3.
The Bears’ offensive assault in the first half was spot on for all five drives. Fields completed the first half with 189 yards, three touchdowns, and a 131.0 rating on 20 of 12 passes.
While the Bears’ offense was destroying the 29th-ranked scoring defense in the NFL, the defense denied Washington any breathing room. The Bears held the Commanders to just 84 yards in the first half and recorded a sack and a turnover, marking their third in each category this season.
Commanders quarterback Sam Howell ran for 71 yards on 13 of 9 attempts and had an interception in the first half.
The Bears received solid contributions from their defensive side in the first half, with Andrew Billings, Terrell Smith, Justin Jones, and Greg Stroman all making a significant impact.
As the story went in Week 4, the Bears gave their opponent a lifeline after building a substantial lead. Howell spearheaded the Commanders as they embarked on a five-play, 75-yard touchdown march to kick off the third quarter. Howell converted a two-point attempt by freezing T.J.
and reversed two attempts. Edwards then faked a pump with a jump pass in the red zone to reduce the lead to 27-11.
The Commanders expertly kicked a 32-yard field goal with just 3 minutes, 17 seconds left in the contest to change the score to 27–14.
Howell masterminded a stunning 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to cut the Bears’ lead to 30-20 after their successful field goal extended their advantage to 16 points.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Commanders had a chance to reduce the lead to 7, but Washington’s kicker, Joy Sleigh, missed a 46-yard field goal attempt.
After Sleigh’s missed kick, Moore drove a knife into the Commanders’ hearts.
Starting at their own 44 with three and 2 remaining, Fields stepped back and looked to Moore on the left. Emmanuel Forbes made a play on the throw, but Fields added some heat to it. The ball went over Forbes, and Moore caught it for a game-sealing 56-yard touchdown.
Therefore, in a matchup that witnessed a plethora of plays from both teams, the Bears clinched the win through a standout showing by Fields and their unwavering defense. It was a contest brimming with excitement, twists and turns, and a riveting conclusion that Bears fans will relish.