Bears beat Commanders 40-20 at FedExField

Photo of DJ Moore, Bears's player in FedExField against Commanders

In Landover, Maryland, DJ Moore had a record-setting performance in the NFL, guiding the Bears to their inaugural win of the season on Thursday night at FedExField. The seasoned wide receiver made a significant impact by securing eight receptions for 230 yards and three touchdowns, effectively leading the Bears to an impressive 40-20 triumph over the Washington Commanders.

Moore’s 230 yards marked a personal best in his career and stand as the second-highest in Bears history, coming second only to Alshon Jeffery’s 249 yards achieved in a 2013 game against Minnesota. During the first quarter, Moore already displayed his prowess with four catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. He continued his remarkable performance into the second period, adding another touchdown to help the Bears establish a commanding 27-3 lead at halftime.

In the closing moments, Moore further secured the victory by snagging a 56-yard touchdown reception, ensuring the win even as the Commanders attempted to narrow the score to 30-20 with 4:09 remaining. In back-to-back games, Justin Fields demonstrated his prowess by tossing four touchdown passes while completing 15 of 29 passes for 282 yards without any turnovers, leading to an impressive passer rating of 125.3.

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Additionally, he contributed 57 rushing yards on 11 carries. The defense played a pivotal role, achieving a season-high of five sacks and forcing two turnovers. During the first half, the Bears (1-4) displayed dominance on both offense and defense. Their offense successfully reached the end zone on all five possessions, with Fields orchestrating three of these drives with touchdown passes. In contrast, the defense limited the Commanders to a mere 84 yards and prevented them from earning a first down until the Bears had already established a commanding 17-0 lead early in the second quarter.

While the Commanders staged a second-half comeback, outscoring the Bears 17-3 and narrowing the gap to 30-20 in the early moments of the fourth quarter, Justin Fields and Moore once again delivered a spectacular play.

Moore’s acrobatic catch over cornerback Kendall Fuller, followed by a 56-yard sprint down the left sideline, resulted in a touchdown reception that sealed the victory. This win brought an end to the Bears’ 14-game losing streak that had extended since the previous year.

The Bears quickly took a 7-0 lead on their initial possession as Fields found Moore in the left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass during a third-and-14 situation. The drive covered 75 yards in only six plays, with Fields’ remarkable 58-yard completion to Moore on a third-and-9 from the Chicago 26 being a standout moment.

The defense then forced a three-and-out, with Andrew Billings sacking running back Brian Robinson Jr. for a one-yard loss on a third-and-one play from the Commanders’ 34. Extending their lead to 10-0, the Bears benefited from Cairo Santos’ 22-yard field goal, which came after Khalil Herbert’s impressive 34-yard run. Herbert’s play featured a dazzling cutback move that left cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr. flustered.

In the first quarter, the Bears maintained commanding advantages in both total yards (199-12) and first downs (7-0). The dynamic connection between Moore and Fields continued to shine in the early moments of the second quarter, with Moore executing an exceptional leaping catch in the left corner of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown during a third-and-6 situation, further extending the Bears’ lead to 17-0.

The Commanders closed the gap to 17-3 after Joey Slye successfully converted a 51-yard field goal in the middle of the second quarter. However, the Bears wasted no time in responding, as Cairo Santos countered with a 36-yard field goal, which extended their lead to 20-3 late in the first half.

In the very next play from scrimmage, Greg Stroman Jr. intercepted a pass from Sam Howell over the middle at the Washington 36-yard line. This interception gave the Bears an excellent scoring opportunity with just 2:19 left in the second quarter. This sequence paved the way for Justin Fields’ 4-yard touchdown pass to Cole Kmet, further increasing the Bears’ advantage to 27-3 with a mere 24 seconds remaining in the half.

The Commanders made progress in narrowing the deficit to 27-11 during their first possession of the second half. Sam Howell connected with tight end Logan Thomas for a 2-yard touchdown pass and successfully ran in a two-point conversion. Washington continued to make gradual progress, with Joey Slye’s 32-yard field goal bringing the score to 27-14 with 3:17 left in the third quarter.

The Bears swiftly responded with Cairo Santos delivering a 43-yard field goal, pushing the score to 30-14 early in the fourth quarter. This field goal followed Moore’s impressive 32-yard gain on a short pass, taking the Bears to the Washington 31-yard line.

Sam Howell’s 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Curtis Samuel reduced the deficit to 30-20 with 10:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, the Bears successfully prevented the two-point conversion attempt, maintaining their two-score lead.

The Commanders had an opportunity to bring it to a one-score game, but Joey Slye’s 46-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Moore then secured his third touchdown reception, sealing the Bears’ victory and allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief.

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