Commanders vs. Bears score, takeaways: Chicago snaps 14-game losing streak behind D.J. Moore's career night
Chicago no longer holds the NFL's longest active losing streak
The Chicago Bears snapped the longest active losing streak in the NFL on Thursday night, as they defeated the Washington Commanders, 40-20. This was Chicago's first win in 15 games, as the Bears' last victory came on Oct. 24 of last year against the New England Patriots. D.J. Moore was the star of the show, as he caught eight passes for a career-high 230 yards and three touchdowns.
Much like last week against the Denver Broncos, the Bears jumped out to a huge lead early. This time, however, they were able to hang on. Chicago scored the first 17 points of the game, and established a 27-3 lead at the halftime break thanks to two touchdowns from Moore. The Commanders did put together a 17-3 run in the second half behind an impressive bounce-back from quarterback Sam Howell, but a Joey Slye missed field goal from 46 yards out with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter sealed Washington's fate.
Coming off of what was statistically a career performance, Fields registered another impressive outing in Week 5. The third-year signal-caller completed 15 of 29 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns while adding 57 yards on the ground. Howell had a career-night as well, as the UNC product completed 37 of 51 passes for 388 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also led Washington in rushing with 19 yards.
Let's take a look at what went down in Washington on Thursday night.
Why the Bears won
The Bears did not look like a team that hadn't won a game in nearly a year. They didn't look like a team that blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter just four days earlier, or a team with a defense that ranked in the bottom five of nearly every category. The Bears instead looked like an improved team with a dynamic duo on offense.
There are two reasons why the Bears won on Thursday night: Justin Fields and D.J. Moore.
Fields' 282 passing yards are the fourth-most he's recorded in a game, while his four passing touchdowns tied a career high. When's the last time Fields threw four touchdowns in a game you ask? It was four days ago against the Broncos.
For the second straight week, Fields threw three touchdowns in the first half. Per CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso, Fields has completed 28 of 37 passes (75.6%) for 420 yards (11.3 yards per attempt) 6 touchdowns and zero interceptions with a 152.0 rating over the last two first halves. Maybe he's not exactly taking on the San Francisco 49ers' defense, but talk about a turnaround for the young kid. I know the other teams haven't played yet in Week 5, but as it stands entering NFL Sunday, Fields is tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns with 11.
As for Moore, he was incredible. His 230 receiving yards were obviously a career high, as were his three receiving touchdowns. Per Next Gen Stats, Moore gained 221 of his 230 receiving yards on hitches and go routes, the most yards on those two routes in a game over the last six seasons. He recorded +141 receiving yards over expected, the second-most in a game since 2018.
Why the Commanders lost
You look at the Commanders defense on paper, and they have way too many former first-round picks and way too much money invested in these players to be giving up 451 total yards of offense and 40 points at home on a national stage to a previously winless team.
On Fields' first three passing attempts of the night, he had wideouts running wiiiiide open down the field. I guess that was a harbinger of things to come. The secondary struggled to contain Moore, and first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes was actually benched at one point after a couple of bad plays. Washington's defense was incredibly disappointing on Thursday night.
Trailing by 10 points with the clock ticking down in the fourth quarter, the Commanders were in the middle of a long drive. Washington had scored 10 points on its previous two possessions, and points this time around would have made it a one-possession game.
On a second-and-10, Howell attempted a pass to running back Brian Robinson Jr. in the backfield. With defenders closing in, Howell threw the ball behind Robinson, as an incompletion would have not only saved Washington yards, but also stopped the clock. Instead, Robinson made a one-handed catch, and lost five yards. Two plays later, Slye missed a 46-yard field goal.
That miss gave the Bears the ball at their own 36-yard line. Three plays later, this happened:
Play of the game
The Bears return home next week, where they will host the rival Minnesota Vikings, who currently sit at 1-3. As for the Commanders, they hit the road to take on Desmond Ridder and the 2-2 Atlanta Falcons.
Washington will drop to 2-3 and has lost three in a row after starting the season with back-to-back wins. The Commanders and Giants are falling far behind the Eagles and Cowboys in the division.
So, Chicago will improve to 1-4 with this win. The Bears will still control the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the draft, thanks to their pre-draft trade with the Panthers this year.
And then Sam Howell goes down again. The Bears had two sacks the whole season coming into this game and have five tonight. Howell has a huge problem with sacks.
Kendall Fuller has had a ROUGH night. And DJ Moore has had an enormous one. Second time a Commanders DB has tried to jump a pass to Moore and instead got caught for a big YAC gain.
Welp. Slye's kick never had a chance. Pushed it wide to the right the whole way. Let's see if the Bears can actually manage to run some clock here.
I think Stevenson was going to get away with that coverage right there if he didn't look so guilty with his hands up in the air doing the "I didn't interfere with him" symbol. And it really looks like he did not interfere.
Big night for Logan Thomas: 9 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. He had a fumble earlier but he's been the most consistent passing-game option for the Commanders tonight.
Sam Howell takes yet another bad sack. When that lane opens up through the middle, you have to just take off. He also had a checkdown cross his face.
Really, really do not like that play call from the Bears. Half-field read rolling out to the left, giving Fields basically one option and no real way to create because you're moving the line to his weak hand. Bad drive from Chicago all around.
Looks like Khari Blasingame is the only "running back" left for the Bears. Herbert, Johnson, Homer all injured, and D'Onta Foreman is inactive.
Pick play gets Curtis Samuel absolutely wide open in the back of the end zone and the Commies have a chance to cut the lead to 8 points with a two-point conversion.
That throw was WAY too late from Sam Howell. Thomas was open for a while before the ball arrived.
That time Tyrique Stevenson played the deep ball well and managed to not interfere with the receiver. He got his hands in there just as the ball arrived. Logan Thomas still almost came down with it anyway.
Howell is now doing a nice job of extending the play and making things happen with his legs, whether scrambling down the field or, like he did right there, finding Byron Pringle for a nice gain.