Commanders vs. Bruins win, takeaways: Washington ends four-game skid, beats Chicago thanks to goal-line stand – CBS Sports

Commanders vs. Bruins win, takeaways: Washington ends four-game skid, beats Chicago thanks to goal-line stand - CBS Sports

Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders got into the win column Thursday night when they defeated the Chicago Bears 12-7 in a thrilling finish. The Bears had a chance to score the game-winning touchdown on fourth-and-goal with just seconds remaining, but Darnell Mooney couldn’t haul in a Justin Fields pass at the goal line.

Carson Wentz completed 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Justin Fields completed 14 of 27 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and also rushed for 88 yards. Rookie running back Brian Robinson recorded his first career start for Washington, and he rushed 17 times for 60 yards and the game-winning score.

This was a tale of two halves in a way. With how Washington and Chicago played the first two quarters, it looked like we might not see a touchdown for the second straight Thursday night game. The only points scored in the first half came on a Commanders field goal — the product of a nine-play, 57-yard drive that included 32 penalty yards. However, things finally opened up a bit in the second half.

Early in the third quarter, Fields hit Dante Pettis on a deep, 40-yard pass for the game’s first touchdown. Wentz then went to work with a sense of urgency, going 65 yards in 13 plays. However, Scott Turner’s offense stalled in the red zone, and the Commanders had to settle for their second field goal of the game. Washington’s offense wasn’t doing much, so the special teams had to step up in a pivotal juncture.

On Washington’s next possession, Wentz and Co. went three-and-out. Punter Tress Way snapped the ball deep, and Bears rookie returner Velus Jones muffed the punt just yards from his own end zone. It was recovered by Washington, and Robinson punched in his first career score two plays later to take a 12–7 lead.

Down five points with just 1:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, Fields and the Bears offense took over. After a 13-yard rush by David Montgomery, Fields ran for 39 yards to get to the Washington 5-yard line. Chicago had four plays to try to break it, but was unable to.

Let’s take a look at what happened in Chicago on Thursday night.

Why the Commanders won

If you were to just look at the box score, it doesn’t look like Washington won this game. That’s because the Commanders came up big in big moments. The special teams recovered a fumbled punt in the fourth quarter that led to Washington’s only touchdown of the game, and then the defense shined at important times.

The Bruins scored just seven points on Thursday night. There should have been more, but this commanding defense held strong with their backs against the wall, and with the game on the line. Chicago had four chances to gain 5 yards and win the game in the fourth quarter, but was unable to. Darrick Forrest broke up a pass in the end zone on third-and-goal, and then Benjamin St-Juste called a play on fourth-and-goal with his defensive stop. We will talk about that a little later.

Why the Bruins lost

The Bruins recorded 392 yards of total offense compared to the Commanders’ 214 yards, but still scored five fewer points. Do you know what it came down to? The offensive play call, and then falling apart in the red zone.

The Bruins did go 2-for-2 in the red zone against the Minnesota Vikings last week, but they went 0-for-3 in the red zone against the New York Giants two games ago — and it cost them the game. The Bruins took their red zone struggles to a new level Thursday night when they went 0-for-3 FROM INSIDE THE WASHINGTON 5-YARD LINE. That’s right, the Bears had the ball inside the Chiefs’ 5-yard line three times Thursday night, and came away with ZERO points.

Fields threw an interception on the first trip inside the 5; the Bruins were stopped on fourth down at the 1-yard line in the second quarter and then Chicago didn’t punch out what could have been the game-winning score in the final stanza. In all seriousness, the Bruins would be 4-2 instead of 2-4 if they knew what to do in the red zone.

There are conversations about the Bears offense in general and how they handle Fields at quarterback, but this game came down to red zone action.

Turning point

This game came down to the final play. On fourth-and-goal, St-Juste made that stop on Mooney. It looked like the Bears wide was across the goal line for a moment, but he did not establish possession. As Mooney came down, he fumbled in the pass, but landed out of bounds and was not over the goal line. It has been said that football is a game of inches.

Game of the game

The Bruins would never have had a chance to win the game on fourth-and-goal if it wasn’t for this play. With 1:06 remaining in the game, Fields ran for 39 yards to get Chicago to the Washington 5-yard line. This was a pretty incredible sequence that ended up not mattering because the Bears failed in the red zone.

What follows

The Commanders return to Washington next week, where they will play host to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. The Packers host the New York Jets this weekend. As for the Bears, they will remain in the prime-time spotlight next week. They travel to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots in “Monday Night Football”. Bill Belichick takes on his former team in the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.

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