Bears defeat Commanders 40-20 at FedExField

Bears defeat Commanders
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) gestures after throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Moore during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Landover, Md. Credit: AP/Alex Brandon

LANDOVER, Md. – Thursday night at FedExField, DJ Moore had the most productive game of his NFL career and led the Bears to their first victory of the year.

The seasoned wide receiver helped the Bears defeat the Washington Commanders 40–20 with eight receptions for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Moore’s career-high 230 yards was also the second-highest in Bears history, only surpassed by Alshon Jeffery’s 249 yards in a 2013 game played in Minnesota.

The Bears led 27-3 at the half thanks to two touchdowns from Moore, who had four receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter and another in the second. With 4:09 left, he subsequently completed the victory with a 56-yard touchdown reception, capping the Commanders’ comeback from a 20-20 deficit.

For the second straight game, Justin Fields completed 15 of 29 throws for 282 yards with no interceptions and a 125.3 passer rating. He also ran for 57 yards on 11 runs. Fields also completed four touchdown passes.

In addition, the defense recorded a season-high five sacks and two takeaways.

In the first half, the Bears (1-4) controlled both sides of the ball. Their offense, led by three touchdown throws from Fields, scored on each of its five drives. Only 84 yards were given up by the defense, and they gave up a first down only after the Bears had taken an early 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Commanders cut the deficit to 30-20 after outscoring the Bears 17-3 to start the second half. Moore, however, answered with yet another spectacular play to seal the victory. He leaped over Kendall Fuller, the cornerback, to snag a throw from Fields and proceeded 56 yards down the left sideline.

The Bears ended a 14-game losing streak that stretched back to the previous season with the victory.

On the first play of the game, Fields found Moore in the left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown throw, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead. On third-and-9 from the Chicago 26 on a 6-play, 75-yard drive, Fields found Moore for a 58-yard completion.

After that, the defense forced a three-and-out when running back Brian Robinson Jr. was downed by Andrew Billings on a third-and-one play from the Commanders’ 34-yard line for a one-yard loss.

After a 22-yard field goal by Cairo Santos, the Bears led 10-0. Following Khalil Herbert’s 34-yard run to the Washington 13, the kick was made. Emmanuel Forbes Jr., the cornerback, was tricked by Herbert with a brilliant cutback on the play.

The Bears dominated first downs (7-0) and total yards (199-12) in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Moore put on another display. On third-and-6, the seasoned receiver soared high over a defender in the left corner of the end zone to catch an 11-yard touchdown ball from Fields, giving the Bears a 17-0 lead.

Joey Slye’s 51-yard field goal halfway through the second quarter gave the Commanders a 17-3 lead. However, Santos’ 36-yard field goal in response gave the Bears the points back, extending their advantage to 20-3 late in the first half.

With 2:19 remaining in the second quarter, Greg Stroman Jr. intercepted a Sam Howell ball over the middle on the following play from scrimmage, putting Washington at the 36.

With :24 remaining in the half, that set up Fields’ 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Kmet, giving the Bears a 27-3 advantage.

On the first play of the second half, Howell found tight end Logan Thomas for a 2-yard touchdown throw, and Thomas ran in the ensuing two-point conversion to cut the Commanders’ lead to 27-11.

With 3:17 left in the third quarter, Washington pulled within 27-14 thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Slye.

Early in the fourth quarter, Santos made a 43-yard field goal to give the Bears back those points, 30-14. Moore converted a short pass into a 32-yard gain to the Washington 31 before kicking the goal.

With 10:51 remaining in the fourth quarter, Howell’s 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Curtis Samuel reduced the lead to 30-20. To preserve their two-score advantage, though, the Bears blocked the two-point conversion.

With 5:11 left in the fourth quarter, Slye missed a 46-yard field goal attempt wide right, giving the Commanders a chance to tie the score.

The Bears were relieved as Moore went on to grab his third touchdown reception, which helped them win.

Credits: ChicagoBears

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