Commanders vs. Bears score, takeaway: Washington ends four-game skid, beats Chicago with goal-line position

Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders returned to the win column Thursday night as they beat the Chicago Bears 12-7 in a thrilling finish. The Bears were lucky enough to score the game-winning touchdown on fourth base with just seconds left, but Darnell Mooney couldn’t get a Justin Fields pass to the goal line.

Carson Wentz completed 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Justin Fields completed 14 of 27 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and also rushed for 88 yards. Rookie running back Brian Robinson recorded his first career start for Washington, and he rushed 17 times for 60 yards and the game-winning score.

It was a tale of two halves in some ways. With the way Washington and Chicago played the first two quarters, it looked like we might not see a touchdown for Thursday night’s second straight game. The only points scored in the first half came via a field goal from Commanders – the product of a nine-play, 57-yard drive that included 32 penalty yards. 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. Wentz then went to work with a sense of urgency, going for 65 yards on 13 plays. However, Scott Turner’s offense stalled in the red zone and the Commanders had to settle for their second field goal of the game. Washington’s offense wasn’t doing much, so special teams had to step in at a pivotal moment.

On Washington’s next possession, Wentz and Co. went three-and-out. Kicker Tress Way threw the ball deep and Bears rookie returner Velus Jones missed the punt just yards from his own end zone. It was picked up by Washington and Robinson scored his first career score two games later to take a 12-7 lead.

Down five points with just 1:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Fields and the Bears offense took over. After a 13-yard run from David Montgomery, Fields ran 39 yards to get to Washington’s 5-yard line. Chicago had four plays to try and hit him, but couldn’t.

Let’s take a look at what happened in Chicago on Thursday night.

Why Commanders Won

If you were to just look at the box score, it doesn’t look like Washington won this game. It’s because the commanders were important in the big moments. Special teams recovered a missed punt in the fourth quarter that led to Washington’s only touchdown of the game, and then the defense shone in important moments.

The Bears scored just seven points Thursday night. It should have been more, but that Commanders defense held on with their backs 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 they couldn’t do it. Darrick Forrest interrupted a pass in the end zone on the third and the goal, then Benjamin St-Juste called the game on the fourth and the goal with his defensive save. We’ll talk about that a bit later.

Why the Bears lost

The Bears recorded 392 total rushing yards compared to the Commanders’ 214 yards, but still scored five points less. Do you know what that looked like? The offensive game calls, then collapses in the red zone.

The Bears went 2 for 2 in the red zone against the Minnesota Vikings last week, but went 0 for 3 in the red zone against the New York Giants two games ago – and it cost them the game . The Bears took their struggles in the red zone to a new level on Thursday night, as they went 0 for 3 FROM INSIDE WASHINGTON’S 5-YARD LINE. That’s right, the Bears had the ball inside the Commanders 5-yard line three times Thursday night and came away with ZERO points.

Fields threw an interception on the first trip inside the 5; the Bears were stopped on fourth down at the 1-yard line in the second quarter, and then Chicago failed to score what could have been the game-winning score in the final stanza. Seriously, the Bears would be 4-2 instead of 2-4 if they knew what to do in the red zone.

There are conversations to be had about the Bears offense in general and how they handle Fields as a quarterback, but this game came down to the red zone performance.

Turning

This game boiled down to the endgame. On a fourth goal, St-Juste made this save on Mooney. It looked like the Bears wide spreader was on the other side of the goal line for a moment, but he hadn’t established possession. When Mooney came down he caught the pass, but landed out of bounds and was not over the goal line. They say football is a game of thumbs.

Game of the game

The Bears never would have had a chance to win the game with a fourth-and-a-goal if it weren’t for that play. With 1:06 remaining in the game, Fields ran for 39 yards to bring Chicago to the Washington’s 5-yard line. It was a pretty incredible streak that ended up not counting as the Bears failed in the red zone.

And after

The Commanders 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 prime-time spotlight next week. They travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots on “Monday Night Football”. Bill Belichick takes on his former team the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.

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