Coming into Thursday Night Football, the Chicago Bears were just 3-18 since last season began and the first team in NFL history to allow 25 or more points in 14 straight games. In fact, nearly a calendar year had come and gone since Chicago’s last victory. Compounding matter for Chicago, three of their preferred four secondary members were injured and the Bears were forced to protect quarterback Justin Fields with their third-string left tackle. And yet, none of it mattered.
The Bears roared out of the gates, jumping out to a 24-point lead before halftime to earn their first win in 347 days. Receiver D.J. Moore had four receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown … in the first quarter alone, and finished the night with eight catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns. The man was so unstoppable that rookie cornerback Emmanuel Forbes was benched during the second half, but he was far from the only Washington defender who struggled in this game or during the season at large. The Commanders defense has now allowed an average of 352 yards and 30 points per game this season, which is unacceptable for a unit with such a substantial investment — both monitarily and in draft capital.
Things weren’t any better on the other side of the house either. The game got out of hand so quickly that offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy abandoned the running game entirely — quarterback Sam Howell was Washington’s leading rusher with four carries for 19 yards — turning his unit into an entirely one dimensonial and predictable. Washington dropped back to pass an astounding 55 consecutive times against the Bears, who registered five sacks and 11 quarterback hits.
“Tonight the Commanders played with no intensity or fire,” said Magic Johnson, on social media after the humbling loss. “We didn’t compete in the first half and got down 27-3 heading into halftime. It was too big of a hole to climb out of, and that is why we ended up losing 40-20.”
Washington has lost their last two home games by a combined 54 points, which is an excellent way to squander any good will and/or optimism the fanbase had when the new ownership group took over this past offseason.