November 17, 2019

Washington Redskins 5 Takeaways: Chicago Bears

The Washington Redskins traveled to Chicago to take on a Bears team that is just as bad at home as they are on the road.

And they won.

By a score of 24-21, the Redskins staved off a second-half charge from Chicago that saw them tie the game at the end of the third quarter. Unlike the Redskins Monday night loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Dustin Hopkins made more field goals than Robbie Gould, and that was the difference on the scoreboard.

Behind a fast start, the Redskins got to just enough of a lead to where a stronger second half by their opponent didn’t cost them the game. Jay Gruden‘s squad did just enough to hold for the victory, their sixth of the season.

Here are five more takeaways from the Redskins’ first road win of the season:

(AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)

(AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)

1. Kirk Cousins Played Well

One of these days, I won’t have to comment on whether or not quarterback Kirk Cousins played well. Going 24-31 with 300 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one rushing touchdown, I actually believe that this was one of his better performances. Save for his lone interception, which was a great play by the defensive back, he was careful with the football, but not afraid to take chances, hitting DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed for big gains. He was efficient, smart and didn’t cost his team the game — what more can you ask for from your starting quarterback? With one more 300-yard game, he’ll set the franchise record for a single season.

2. Matt Jones is Making Alfred Morris Obsolete

I’ll touch on this more this week, but rookie running back Matt Jones is making Alfred Morris more and more expendable with every carry. On Washington’s first drive, Morris scored his first touchdown of the season (that’s right, his first). For a guy that was expected to become a cornerstone of the franchise, he sure hasn’t been shouldering the workload this year. Jones carried the rock 18 times (seven more than Morris) and rushed for 62 yards, including a strong run at the end of the game to pick up a first down and ice the game for Washington.

3. The Defensive Backs Got Beat Deep…Often

The boxscore says that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 315 yards, but a 400+ yard performance was well within his grasp if he laid the football out for his receivers to run under on deep routes. On far too many plays, the Redskins’ defensive backs got beat deep. On what could have been the game-tying, or even winning, drive, Alshon Jeffery ran straight past the cornerback for the easy reception. If not for safety help over the top, he’d still be running. Washington’s secondary severely underperformed and it nearly cost them the game.

4. Jordan Reed Is A Matchup Nightmare

That’s not a secret, but it certainly became apparent early in the game there isn’t a single player on the Bears’ defense that matched up well with the tight end. Reed finished with nine receptions for 120 and one touchdown. When the Redskins lined Reed up in a three-point stance on the outside of the tackle, a linebacker was used to cover him, which typically ended in a reception. The former Florida Gator has all the tools to become one of the most dominant receivers, not just tight ends, in the NFL and Sunday’s display certainly proved that. Against Chicago, in particular, he’s been a killer. In just two games, he has 18 receptions for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

5. Defensive Front Strong

The Redskins’ defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage right from the get-go. While their offensive line saw a shift in favor of the Bears’ defensive line, Joe Barry‘s unit got strong up front as the game went along. Terrance Knighton, Trent Murphy and Ryan Kerrigan all registered sacks, and Kerrigan and Knighton combined for three tackles-for-loss. They stifled Chicago’s rushing attack, holding the Bears to just 87 yards rushing. For his strip-sack, Murphy used a strong move to get past the right tackle, and he now has 3.5 sacks on the season.

 

Redskins Week 14 Preview: at Chicago Bears

Following a heartbreaking loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, the Washington Redskins travel to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on the Chicago Bears. Both teams sport mediocre 5-7 records, but Washington still has control of the NFC East division lead via tiebreak. Chicago is coming off of a disappointing loss last week to the lowly San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears are in a similar situation as the Redskins this year, with a new General Manager trying to go through a rebuilding process with a younger team, resulting in inconsistent (and many times ugly) play. Jay Cutler, the much-maligned franchise QB, has been relatively steady compared to years’ past, throwing for 14 TDs and 7 interceptions on the season. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Game 6 Review: Skins beat Bears in shootout 45-41

So far this season, fans, media and the team itself have been waiting for Robert Griffin III to truly look like the dynamic playmaker they saw last season. Sunday, against the injury-depleted Chicago Bears, Griffin looked his best yet, leading the Washington Redskins to a huge 45-41 win over the Bears, to raise their record to 2-4 before heading off to a showdown with the Broncos in Denver next weekend.

Griffin threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-29 passing, but he looked his best all season running with the ball, carrying 11 times for 84 yards, much from the read-option formation. On the second play from scrimmage, Griffin called his own number and burst around right end for 23 yards and continued to run the keeper all day long. That first drive ended up with a 38-yard Kai Forbath field goal, but it set the precedent for what the Skins offense would do all afternoon.

The Bears took advantage of a short field after a 37-yard Sav Rocca punt and answered with 47-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. On the ensuing possession, Griffin made on of his few mistakes on the day, lobbing a pass toward Leonard Hankerson on the right sideline that was picked off by Charles Tillman and returned to the Skins 10-yard line. It took the Bears just two plays to score, with Matt Forte scoring the first of his three touchdowns of the day on a two-yard plunge.

But the Redskins took the kickoff and marched down the field, going 80 yards on 13 plays, capped by Roy Helu, Jr.’s 14-yard scoring run from off-tackle right, which was exquisitely blocked up front to make it 10-10 just after the start of the second quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Reed Doughty broke up a Jay Cutler pass intended for Alshon Jeffery, and the ball hung up for Brian Orakpo to gather in and rumble 29 yards for the first pick-six of his career.

Two possessions later, Bears QB Jay Cutler was sacked by Chris Baker — first of Baker’s NFL career — and came up lame. He was helped off the field and into the Bears locker, where it was announced that he sustained a groin injury and would not return. Josh McCown replaced Cutler and created difficulty right off the bat with his mobility, as his first play was an 11-yard scramble.

Later in the quarter, another special teams breakdown led to a Bears touchdown. Rocca punted to the left sideline to pen return specialist Devin Hester in. Unfortunately, Hester broke back to the other side of the field, broke containment, and sprinted up the right sideline untouched for an 81-yard TD to tie the game at 17.

As was the theme of the day though, the Skins offense went right back to work, this time going 74 yards on 11 plays, culminated by Griffin’s three-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed in the right corner of the end zone on a fade pattern. Reed had a 15-yard catch earlier in the drive and ended up with 9 catches for 134 for the day, both career highs. The Skins held a 24-17 halftime lead, but things got even crazier in the second half.

The Bears first drive resulted in a missed field goal, but on their second possession Forte burst through the line and went 50 yards for a touchdown to tie it back up. But Griffin led the Skins right back, driving 83 yards on eight plays, including a 30-yard completion to Aldrick Robinson, before Helu carried three yards to put the Skins back up 31-24.

Chicago used a 28-yard completion from McCown to Jeffery, then a 15-yard personal foul on Brandon Meriweather, to get in position for Forte to carry six yards for his third TD of the day to tie it at 31.

This time, the Redskins used a quick strike. On second-and-nine, Griffin had Josh Morgan streaking wipe open on a 20-yard crossing route, but instead heaved it 45 yards to Robinson, who made the catch between Tillman and safety Chris Conte, who fell after bumping Robinson trying to get into position. Regardless, the longest pass of the season resulted in a Redskins touchdown and 38-31 lead.

The Bears next drive stalled at the Washington 31, after Orakpo and David Amerson harassed McCown on second and third downs respectively and the Bears settled for a 49-yard Gould field goal. Following a Skins three-and-out, Chicago went back to work. McCown hit Brandon Marshall for the receiver’s biggest gain of the day, a 44-yard catch and run off a slant route, and after a touchdown pass was nullified by an illegal formation penalty, the Bears made the next one stick, as McCown connected with tight end Marcellus Bennett for a seven-yard score, giving the Bears their first lead since the first quarter.

The Redskins took over with 3:57 to play at their own 20-yard line. Griffin found Reed for 26 yards on the first play of the drive. Later, he connected three times with Pierre Garcon for gains of seven, nine and six yards. On third-and-4 from Chicago’s 13, Griffin hit Reed for a 10-yard completion and on first down, Helu broke it up inside for his third touchdown strike of the day, to provide the 45-41 margin of victory.

Redskins Wrap Postgame Show: Game 6 vs. Chicago Bears

Dave Nichols and Andy Holmes of District Sports Page discuss and analyze the Washington Redskins 45-41 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Listen to internet radio with DSPs Redskins Radio Shows on BlogTalkRadio
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