Someone will have the chance to get their season back on track on Thursday night. The 1-4 Washington Commanders, losers of four straight and in last place in the NFC East, travel to Chicago to face the 2-3 Bears, who have lost two in a row and are closer to last than first in the NFC North.
Both teams suffered heartbreaking late losses on Sunday. The Bears led in the final minutes only to have the Vikings score a game-winning touchdown, then strip the ball and recover a fumble to clinch the game on Chicago’s last-minute drive.
The Commanders were intercepted at the 1-yard line with 6 seconds left as they tried to get a game-winning touchdown against the Titans.
Washington Commanders vs. Chicago Bears
Thursday, October 13, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Soldier Field
Commanders Need a Spark
A ‘Not That Offensive’ Offense
The Commanders’ offense has scored the third-fewest points in the NFC so far this season, including 8, 10, and 17 each of the last three weeks.
Some Good News
There were some positive signs against the Titans. Second-year receiver Dyami Brown had a breakout game with 2 touchdowns, and Terry McLaurin always seems to turn in big plays.
Plus, the Commanders saw the NFL debut of running back Brian Robinson Jr., who missed the start of the season after being shot in the leg over the summer.
The team added a running back but lost one when Jonathan Williams suffered a knee injury and couldn’t finish the game. He’ll be reevaluated this week.
The team’s pass protection has been a problem all year, however, and the offensive line struggled to match up with Tennessee’s pass rush. Right tackle Sam Cosmi had hand surgery and missed the game. His recovery will be monitored but the team needs him back quickly.
Carson Wentz’s Form
Carson Wentz has also been inconsistent. His game-ending interception was the sixth he’s thrown this year. Making matters worse, coach Ron Rivera abandoned the run midway through the game, putting the ball in Wentz’s hands to win or lose.
Overall, the team was just 1 of 11 on third down, making it tough to generate any rhythm on offense.
What About the Defense
The team had a mixed day on defense. The line was able to pressure Tennessee and held star running back Derrick Henry in check. The secondary struggled, however.
Safety Bobby McCain gave up a big play and corner William Jackson was benched in the first half after missing a tackle.
The Bears return home, where they are unbeaten on the season, although they have yet to score more than 23 points in any game, home or road. Chicago is one of two NFC teams with fewer points scored than Washington.
Chicago got off to another slow start on Sunday and had to battle back against the Vikings. The Bears have scored 10 points in the first half just once this season—13 against Houston.
David Montgomery’s Return
Chicago got back David Montgomery. The running back had missed time with injury but he returned to the field and the end zone this week.
Despite his return, the run game, which has been a bright spot for the Bears, abandoned Chicago as they managed fewer than 80 yards on the ground, just over half of what it averaged each of the previous three weeks.
How Is the Defense?
The Bears’ defense struggled against the Vikings. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins completed his first 17 passes and the team had no answer for defending receiver Justin Jefferson.
The defense also is monitoring a pair of injuries. Corner Jaylon Johnson missed his second straight game with a quad injury, and linebacker Matthew Adams went down with a calf injury in the second half.
The team showed fight, coming back from down 21-3 to take the lead in the fourth quarter, and quarterback Justin Fields showed progress, topping 200 passing yards for the first time this year.
Commanders vs. Bears: Pick and Prediction
The Bears have been a better team at home than on the road, and Chicago showed signs that it is close to getting on the right track. Washington appears destined to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.
For your NFL picks, look for Chicago to get well against a Commanders team going through a long year.
NFL Pick: Bears (-1) at FanDuel