The best and worst moments from the Redskins’ 24-21 win over the Bears at Soldier Field.
Best miss: With less than two minutes remaining and the Redskins clinging to a three-point lead, Chicago’s Robbie Gould pushed a 50-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.
Worst home team: The Bears fell to 1-6 at Soldier Field in 2015 and have lost consecutive games at home to the 49ers and Redskins, who were a combined 0-10 on the road before visiting the Windy City. Washington ended a nine-game road losing streak, which was tied for the longest in franchise history, and improved to 2-12 away from FedEx Field under Coach Jay Gruden.
Best news: The Redskins remain atop the NFC East.
Worst coverage: On the drive that led to Gould’s potential game-tying field goal attempt, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery was wiiiiide open for a 50-yard catch, possibly due to miscommunication between cornerback Will Blackmon and safety DeAngelo Hall.
Best coverage: Two plays later, Bashaud Breeland made a game-saving breakup on a pass intended for Jeffery in the end zone.
Worst decision: On the drive preceding Chicago’s final possession, the Redskins faced third and six at their own 37-yard line. Kirk Cousins was flushed out of the pocket, rolled to his right and threw back across his body, lofting the ball in the general vicinity of Jordan Reed … and two Bears defenders. It was as if Cousins was playing a game of 500.
Best result: Reed deflected the pass into the hands of running back Matt Jones, who bobbled it before pulling it into his chest as he fell to the turf. Jones wasn’t ruled down by contact and dropped the ball, thinking the play was over. Somehow, Jones managed to recover for what will go in the game book as an 18-yard gain, but could better be described as a double-heart attack.
Worst ability to put a team away: If you thought the Redskins were going to coast to an easy win and give you a chance to enjoy the beautiful, 70-degree December weather after they took 14-point leads on two separate occasions … hahahahaha. Ha. After Washington went ahead 21-7 on their first drive of the second half, the Bears marched 80 yards on 10 plays to score their first third-quarter touchdown of the season.
Worst interception: Cousins’s first interception in three games came in an especially bad spot, deep in Washington territory on the Redskins’ ensuing possession. Cousins, who completed 24 of 31 passes for 300 yards, floated a pass for Pierre Garcon that was picked off by former Virginia Tech star Kyle Fuller. Three plays later, the Bears pulled even on a Matt Forte touchdown run.
Best response: The Redskins answered with a 47-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins on their next possession. DeSean Jackson, who was hobbled for much of the second half, accounted for 29 of Washington’s 51 yards on the scoring drive with a diving catch along the sideline.
Best defensive stand: Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bears were driving with a chance to tie or take the lead. On third and 10 from the Redskins 41-yard line, the Redskins’ defense sniffed out a screen pass to Jeffery and forced a punt.
Worst use of timeouts: The Redskins burned two of their three timeouts in the third quarter due to apparent miscommunication between Gruden and Cousins. Luckily, it didn’t come back to haunt them.
Best start: The Redskins showed no signs of a potential Dallas hangover on their first possession, going 80 yards on a 15-play touchdown drive that took more than eight minutes. The offense looked nothing like it did in Monday’s bitter loss to the Cowboys, what with fullback Darrel Young on the field, Cousins running bootlegs and the Redskins throwing the ball – it’s true! — on first down.
Best effort: Reed shook off four would-be tacklers on an 18-yard catch and reached the ball across the goal line for what was initially ruled a touchdown, but then overturned by replay review. “I didn’t think there would be enough to overturn it,” NFL rules expert Mike Pereira said on the Fox broadcast. Welp.
Best touchdown: Alfred Morris, who carried eight times for 17 yards on the opening drive, plowed ahead for a one-inch touchdown run – his first of the season — on Washington’s next play.
Best tight end: Reed had nine catches on nine targets for 120 yards and eventually found the end zone in the third quarter on a five-yard touchdown catch that gave the Redskins a 21-7 lead.
Best surprise: Reed didn’t commit a single penalty.
Best second effort: Before Reed’s touchdown, the Redskins faced third and two at the Chicago 22. Jones was hit short of the line to gain, but spun out of linebacker Christian Jones’s tackle and dove backward for the first down. Jones finished with 18 carries for 62 yards, one miracle reception and, most importantly, no fumbles (lost).
Best Pot Roast: Not that any pot roast is bad, but a motivated Terrance Knighton played perhaps his best game of the season. The Redskins’ defensive tackle, who was facing his former coach with the Broncos, John Fox, got his first sack of the season on Chicago’s first drive.
Best deep shot: On Washington’s second possession, Cousins targeted Jackson, who drew a 32-yard pass interference penalty on Chicago’s Tracy Porter. Cousins and Reed hooked up for a 28-yard pass to the Chicago nine-yard line on the Redskins’ next play and the offense was in business entering the second quarter.
Best decision: On second and goal from the Chicago three, Cousins kept the ball on a zone-read and jogged into the end zone. Cousins’s fourth rushing touchdown of the season capped another 15-play drive, this one covering 93 yards. Cousins did not hit the Dab.
Best quarter: The Redskins had the ball for more than 11 minutes in the first quarter and outgained the Bears 132-18.
Worst quarter: The Redskins were outgained 158-9 in the second quarter.
Best sack-fumble and recovery: After Chicago moved into Washington territory for the first time, Trent Murphy annihilated Cutler, who never saw him coming. Murphy stripped Cutler as he was going to the ground and recovered at the Redskins 49-yard line.
Worst use of good field position: The Redskins’ issues converting turnovers into points continued. A holding penalty on first down after Murphy’s fumble recovery put Washington in a hole and three plays later, including a sack of Cousins on third down, Tress Way came on to punt. For the record, opponents have outscored the Redskins 105-25 in points of turnovers this season and Washington has scored three points off seven turnovers in the last three weeks.
Worst penalties: In an upset, it was the Bears, at least in terms of penalty yards (79-63). Chicago committed six of their seven penalties in the first half, leading to such unenviable situations as third and 24 and third and 28. That’s not to say Washington didn’t commit some dumb mistakes. There was a maddening delay of game penalty out of one of the Redskins’ two third-quarter timeouts, and a late hit on Dashon Goldson.
Best smell: Victory.