Moore's historic night lifts Bears over Commanders
Brad Mills - USA Today Sports

Moore's historic night lifts Bears over Commanders

by - Senior Writer -

WASHINGTON - It took 347 days, but the Chicago Bears (1-4) can finally say they won another football game. All it took was a short week after a historic collapse and a massive game from DJ Moore as Chicago knocked off the Washington Commanders (2-3) 40-20 to end their 14-game losing streak, which was the longest in the history of the franchise.

When it comes to Moore, the Bears are finally starting to use him how he should be, and he has rewarded Luke Getsy and Justin Fields for that. Moore was targeted 10 times in the game and came down with eight receptions for 230 yards and three scores. He was a big reason for Fields success as he nearly reached the 300-yard mark for a second consecutive week, but he did manage to throw four more TD passes as he now leads the league in that category.

You had a sense of how things would go right from the start as Fields and Moore hooked up for 58 yards on just the game's third play, and the Chicago offense was in business. Three plays later, those two finished things off as the 20-yard TD gave the Bears the lead for good, 7-0. While the offense continued to look good for a second straight week, the defense showed the most significant improvement in this one, as the Commanders could do next to nothing in the first half. A big reason for that was the team's five sacks of Sam Howell after having just two through the first four weeks.

Already up 10-0 after a 34-yard run from Khalil Herbert set up Cairo Santos for the first of his four field goals, the Chicago offense continued to go to work as the Commanders defense was guessing. Another 39-yard hookup to Moore certainly helped things out, but so did a nice run from Roschon Johnson, who was later removed from the game with a concussion. Two plays into the second, it was the Moore and Fields duo hooking up again, with this one coming from 11 yards out to give the Bears a massive 17-0 lead.

In desperate need of some points, the Commanders had to work for every yard they would get and needed 11 plays to go 42 yards. A couple of receptions for Logan Thomas kept the chains moving before Joey Slye knocked home a 51-yard try to make things 17-3. Slye played a significant role later in this one, which is where the momentum changed in favor of the Bears.

Not only has the Moore/Fields passing game been picking up as of late, but you still have Cole Kmet with that great connection as his 23-yard gain set the Bears offense once more. With Fields and Herbert taking over on the ground, Santos banged home his second field goal of the half to extend the lead to 20-3, but Chicago wasn't quite done. One play into the next Washington possession, it was Greg Stroman coming down with an interception and helping set the Bears offense up with a short field. Sparked by another big Herbert run, who finished with 76 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury, it was Fields finding Kmet for his third TD of the half and giving the Bears a 27-3 lead at the break.

For the second straight game, Fields not only had a massive first half, but the Bears held a massive lead only to let things get away against the Broncos. Chicago was hoping that wouldn't happen here, but throughout the early portion of the second half, you started to get that De Ja Vu type of feeling. Opening the second half with the ball, Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson took over on the ground as Washington had the ball inside Chicago territory.

Following a costly pass interference call to move the ball inside the three, Howell found Curtis Samuel for the score with a two-point conversion, making things 27-11. Washington would force a punt on the Bears first possession of the second half only to put the ball on the ground a few plays later to give it back to the Bears. Unlike the first half, the Commanders defense was starting to get more pressure on Fields and forced another punt as it was back to work for the offense.

Led by a big play to Gibson to move the ball into Chicago territory, the Bears defense stepped up when needed as the Slye field goal made things 27-14. Whenever the Bears offense needed a big play, they turned to Moore, whose 32-yard reception set things up for another Santos field goal to extend the lead to 30-14. Not to be outdone, Howell and the offense kept the pressure on as they were moving the ball much better than in the past.

It may have taken 12 plays to go 75 yards, but with only three minutes coming off the clock, the Commanders had all the momentum. Byron Pringle and Jamison Crowder started to get in on the action, while Howell used his legs more to create more plays. Howell then went up top to Samuel for 25 yards before those two hooked up for another TD. Washington could not convert on the two-point try, but they did pull within 30-20 early in the fourth.

This was when you started to see the panic setting in on most Bears faces, but you could tell right from the start that this was a much more focused Chicago team than in the previous weeks. Maybe the loss of Dick Butkus was the reason, but after a missed FG from Slye kept things at two possessions, the Moore/Fields combination delivered the knockout blow as their 56-yard TD pass put the Bears in front 37-20. In total desperation mode, the Bears began to send the house as Demarcus Walker and Rasheem Green came away with the final two sacks on the night to force a turnover on downs, with Santos capping off the scoring with his fourth field goal to lift the Bears 40-20.

Although this is only one win and plenty of work is left to do, this was a win the Bears needed to have as they can now head into their mini Bye with some much-needed confidence. Not only did Fields come close to 300 yards with his four TDs, but the Bears also added 178 yards on the ground to give them the balance they have been looking for all season. The only negative from this game was seeing all three RBs go down with injuries, as the FB Khari Blasingame had to finish things off by carrying it eight times for 26 yards after having three career carries heading into this game.

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