Carson Wentz and the Washington leaders returned to the winning streak Thursday night, defeating the Chicago Bears 12-7 in a thrilling finish. The Bears had a game-winning goal in fourth place and the goal with just seconds left, but Darnell Mooney was unable to pass Justin Fields’ pass on the goal line.
Carson Wentz completed 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Justin Fields completed 14 of 27 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and also rushed for 88 yards. Brian Robinson scored his first career start for Washington, dashing 17 times for 60 yards and the score that won the game.
This was a story of two halves in some ways. With Washington and Chicago playing the first two quarters, it looks like we might not see relegation for the second game in a row on Thursday night. The only points scored in the first half came through a captain’s field goal—the product of nine plays, a 57-yard run which included a 32-yard penalty. However, things finally opened up somewhat in the second half.
Early in the third quarter, Fields hit Dante Pettis on a 40-yard deep pass for the game’s first touchdown. Then Wentz went to work with a sense of urgency, going 65 yards in 13 plays. However, Scott Turner’s offensive in the red was halted, and the leaders had to settle for their second field goal in the game. Not much of Washington’s offensive was accomplished, so the special teams had to come up with a pivotal turn.
In Washington’s next possession, Wentz and Co went triple. Punter Tress Way smoothed the ball deep, and returning Bears rookie Velus Jones stopped the ball just yards from his end zone. Retrieved by Washington, Robinson hits him in his first career two careers later to take a 12-7 lead.
Dropping five points with only 1:49 left in the fourth quarter, the Fields and Bears attack dominated. After a 13-yard dash by David Montgomery, Fields sprinted for 39 yards to reach the Washington 5-yard line. Chicago had four plays to try and get in, but they weren’t able to.
Let’s take a look at what happened in Chicago Thursday night.
Why did the leaders win?
If you were to look at the box result, it doesn’t look like Washington won this match. That’s because the leaders came in big at the big moments. Special teams recovered from a fourth-quarter penalty that landed Washington’s only touchdown in the game, and then the defense shined at key times.
The Bears scored just seven points Thursday night. It should have been more than that, but this leaders’ defense held firm with its back to the wall, and with the game on the line. Chicago had four chances to gain 5 yards and win the game in the fourth quarter, but she wasn’t able to. Darek Forrest broke a pass in the end zone with the third goal, then Benjamin St. Just called the match up for fourth and the goal with his defensive stop. We’ll talk about that shortly.
Why did the bears lose
The Bears scored 392 yards in total offense compared to the Leaders’ 214 yards, but still scored five points fewer. You know what came? Offensive play, then collapse into the red zone.
The Bears went 2-for-2 in the red against the Minnesota Vikings last week, but they went 0-for-3 in the red against the New York Giants two games ago — and it cost them the game. The Bears took their struggles in the red to a new level Thursday night, as they went 0-for-3 from inside the 5-yard line in Washington. That’s right, the Bears had the ball inside the leaders’ 5-yard line three separate times Thursday night, and came out without points.
Fields threw an interception on the first flight within 5; The Bears were stopped fourth at the 1-yard line in the second quarter and then Chicago failed to hit what would have been the outcome of a win in the final. In all seriousness, the Bears would be 4-2 instead of 2-4 if they knew what to do in the red.
There are conversations to be had about the bears attack in general and how they approach the Fields as a midfield, but this game came down to red zone performance.
This game has reached the final play. In fourth and goal, St-Juste stopped on Mooney. It looked as if the Bears had been off the goal line for a moment, but he didn’t get possession of the ball. When Mooney went down, he staggered into the pass, but landed out of bounds and never crossed the goal line. It was said that football is a game of inches.
play the game
The Bears would not have had a chance to win the match with a fourth and a goal had it not been for this play. With 1:06 left in the game, fields scrambled for 39 yards to get to Chicago to Washington’s 5-yard line. This was a rather amazing sequence that ended up being unimportant because the Bears failed in the red.
The leaders return to Washington next week, where they will host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. The Packers host the New York Jets this weekend. As for the bears, they will remain in the spotlight at prime time next week. They travel to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Bill Belichick will face his former team at the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”