The Chicago Bears improved to 1-4 with a 40-20 win over the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football. The Bears came into the game having lost 14 straight contests. There was buzz before the game that head coach Matt Eberflus was on the hot seat Thursday night.
The Bears responded by playing one of their best games in the Eberflus era. It was a complete game reminiscent of the last Bears win over the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football last year.
While the win will come as a relief to Justin Fields and the Ryan Poles/Eberflus regime, they have much to prove for the rest of the season. Here are three studs and duds from the win in Week 5.
Chicago Bears studs
Kirk Herbstreit said on the broadcast that Fields is the Bears’ most explosive weapon. I beg to differ. The offense is Moore this season, and it’s a crime he hasn’t gotten the ball…well, more until Week 5. Moore finished with eight receptions for 230 yards and three touchdown catches.
The rest of the Bears receivers accounted for 52 yards receiving. This offense will live and die by Moore for the rest of the year. We’ll see if offensive coordinator Luke Getsy takes notice.
Greg Stroman Jr.
The Bears backup cornerback had an incredible night against the Commanders. He recorded one interception and one sack. Stroman recorded seven tackles and tried to strip the ball out all game. The Bears secondary was expected to be a major weakness this week due to injuries, but Stroman stepped up his game in the win.
Bears defensive pressure
The second half was starting to look familiar to the Bears’ Week 4 collapse to the Denver Broncos. There was one noticeable difference Thursday night. The Bears dialed up blitzes against second-year quarterback Sam Howell.
And it worked. The Bears recorded five sacks. The defensive line accounted for three of them. The Bears need to continue to dial up blitzes and get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Chicago Bears duds
The Bears came into the game beaten up in the secondary. That continued with several Bears backup cornerbacks going to the sidelines with injuries. Center Lucas Patrick left the game with a concussion. The Bears lost their two featured running backs and had to rely on Khari Blasingame, a fullback, to bring them home.
The Bears got the win with a shorthanded team. They’re going to have to do that again in ten days when they play the Minnesota Vikings.
Mooney isn’t playing well. He was targeted four times and didn’t have a reception. He seemed to lose sight of the first pass Fields threw at him. Mooney also dropped what would have been a touchdown.
That’s not what the Bears need to see from him in a contract year. It doesn’t look like Mooney or Chase Claypool will return next season.
Chicago Bears DT’s not named Andrew Billings
The Bears were able to get pressure on Howell mostly from the Edge. Gervon Dexter made one good pressure on Howell but then disappeared for most of the game. Dexter, Justin Jones, and Zacch Pickens had one tackle each for the night.
Billings is arguably the Bears’ best defensive player this season. He made a couple of nice run stops against the Commanders. Rookies Pickens and Dexter need to show improvement after the “mini” bye.
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