What history tells us between the Commanders and Bears
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

What history tells us between the Commanders and Bears

by - Senior Writer -

While there were plenty of negatives to take away from the Bears' loss to the Commanders on Sunday, there were surprisingly some positives as well, and now the Bears look to turn things around on a short week.

Standing in their way is a Washington team that started the season 2-0 before dropping their last two and happen to be led by former Bears LB Ron Rivera. Although these teams are not considered familiar opponents since they don't meet every year, they have seen each other a ton and have met 52 times over the years, with seven times coming in the postseason.

When you look at the series as a whole, this is about as evenly matched of a series that you can have as Washington holds the slim 27-24-1 lead, but with most of their success coming in the past 30 seasons. These teams first met in 1933, and the Bears took four of the first six meetings with one tie mixed in between. By the time 1946 hit, it was all Chicago as they won the next six meetings that spanned from 1946-53 as their offense averaged more than 40 points per contest, including a 56-point contest in that range.

Washington responded with three consecutive wins of their own after that nice stretch by the Bears, but from 1974-88, neither team seemed to want to take an advantage in the series as they tended to split games or, at the very least, split every four games to keep this a competitive friendly affair. However, once the 1989 season arrived and into the 90s, things changed as these are considered some of the heydays for the Commanders franchise.

Not only did these teams meet six times between 1989 and 1997, but it was all Washington in those meetings as they came out on top in all of them. Most were blowout wins, too, apart from the 10-9 defensive struggle in 1990. Following the start of the new millennium, the Bears got back on track with a pair of wins in 2001 and 2003, but since then, it has been tough sledding.

Since the start of the 2010 NFL season, the Bears and Commanders have met 10 times, and things have been about as one-sided as it can possibly be. Not only has Washington won nine of the last 10 meetings, but they managed to win seven consecutive from 2004-16, which gave them the lead in the overall series. That shows you how much early success the Bears had against Washington, as it took a big winning streak like this to give them the series lead.

The last win for Chicago against this team came in 2019 and ended a nearly 20-year drought between wins. This game was also played in Washington, and the Bears dominated 31-15 for one of their more impressive wins against this team in a long time. Mitchell Trubisky and Taylor Gabriel had a game that day as the duo hooked up for three TD passes in the win. Gabriel led the way with 75 yards receiving and those three scores, while Trubisky went 25-31 for 231 yards in the win.

These teams also met last season in Chicago, and the Bears wasted an opportunity to pick up a rare win last season. Although Carson Wentz was awful last season, he did play much better against Chicago, but the defense set the tone in the Commanders 12-7 victory. Wentz was held to just 99 yards passing in one of the Bears better defensive performances of the season, but a pair of turnovers doomed the offense for Chicago in the end.

With both teams struggling to win games, this will come down to the coaching and which defense can make the most plays. Washington has the advantage in both categories, so it could be another rough go for the Bears this week. Look for this to be a low-scoring game, but the coaching will make a difference.

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