Velus Jones Jr. fell to the bottom on the 9-yard line Thursday night time at Soldier Field, and the soccer hit him within the face masks and bounced to the sphere.
The Chicago Bears rookie returner tried to leap on the fumble, however the Washington Commanders recovered it on the Bears 6-yard line.
Two performs later, Commanders operating again Brian Robinson Jr. scored on a 1-yard run, and following a failed two-point conversion, the Commanders had a 12-7 lead halfway by means of the fourth quarter.
A mistake like Jones’ muffed catch in a sport wherein the Bears failed to attain from inside 5 yards of the tip zone thrice was an excessive amount of. The Commanders left Chicago with the ugly 12-7 win — their second of the season. The Bears (2-4) misplaced their third straight.
“We know that was a devastating blow,” Jones mentioned. “I’m a man. I own up to my mistakes, and it was devastating blow.”
The Bears and quarterback Justin Fields had two possibilities to retake the lead, together with a drive within the ultimate two minutes wherein that they had first-and-goal from the 5-yard line following Fields’ 39-yard scramble.
But Fields ran for 1 yard and threw incomplete twice. He then hit Darnell Mooney with a 3-yard move. Mooney made a leaping seize however bobbled it at first and ultimately got here down simply wanting the aim line after he had it beneath management. In the primary half, the Bears failed to attain twice after getting inside 5 yards of the tip zone and went into halftime down 3-0.
“There were multiple plays in that game that we could have made to change the whole game,” Fields mentioned. “The summary is we didn’t finish. It doesn’t matter if you drive all the way down to the 5-, 1-yard line and don’t score.”
One drive earlier than the quick Mooney catch, the Bears drove to the Commanders 43-yard line, however a delay-of-game penalty on fourth-and-11 and a Fields incompletion to Ihmir Smith-Marsette on fourth-and-16 ended the risk.
Commanders kicker Joey Slye missed a 48-yard field-goal try huge left on the following drive, giving the Bears one final likelihood.
Fields accomplished 14 of 27 passes for 190 yards, a landing and an interception. He was sacked 5 occasions.
He threw a 40-yard landing move to Dante Pettis to offer the Bears a 7-3 lead halfway by means of the third quarter. Pettis beat cornerback Kendall Fuller and simply bought his ft inbounds on an ideal move to the left aspect of the tip zone. The landing got here on a free play after officers threw a flag for the Commanders having too many males on the sphere.
Fields stayed on the bottom for a number of seconds after he was knocked down on the play however returned to the sport on the subsequent drive. He mentioned later he was enjoying the sport by means of a left shoulder subject that he reaggravated.
The Bears stopped the Commanders on the 10-yard line on their second drive of the second half when Justin Jones batted down Wentz’s move on third-and-10. Slye made a 28-yard subject aim to chop the Bears’ result in 7-6.
The Bears had an opportunity to construct on their lead after the protection got here up with an enormous cease on the subsequent drive, however Jones fumbled his second punt return in three video games, the opposite in a loss to the New York Giants. He mentioned he ought to have let the Thursday punt go into the tip zone.
“That’s one I should have let go,” Jones mentioned. “It came, and I was trying to make a play. Earlier in the game, the last one I caught I fair caught and I had a lot of space left. So rookie mistake. Just because it was a look then doesn’t mean it’s going to be a look the next time. That’s one I should have definitely let go.”
Said Bears coach Matt Eberflus: “The number one job of a kick returner or punt returner is to catch the ball, so we are going to have to look at that.”
Bears proper guard Teven Jenkins briefly was out of the sport to start the second half with a shoulder damage, and Michael Schofield changed him. But Jenkins returned when left guard Lucas Patrick left to be evaluated for a concussion. Schofield slid over to left guard. Patrick returned later within the half.
Here’s how Week 6 unfolded.
Wide receiver N’Keal Harry won’t play for the Bears on Thursday as he continues to ramp up from August ankle surgical procedure. Harry practiced in full Wednesday and didn’t have an damage designation, however the Bears declared him inactive.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy indicated Harry, who has had restricted observe time with quarterback Justin Fields, nonetheless had methods to go earlier than he can be able to play in a sport.
Cornerback Lamar Jackson, tight finish Jake Tonges and defensive lineman Kingsley Jonathan are additionally inactive.
For the Commanders, huge receiver Jahan Dotson, tight finish Logan Thomas, cornerback William Jackson III, security Percy Butler, offensive deal with Sam Cosmi, operating again Jonathan Williams and quarterback Sam Howell are inactive.
Halftime: Bears path Commanders 3-0
Twice the Chicago Bears bought inside 5 yards of the aim line within the first half Thursday in opposition to the Commanders at Soldier Field.
And twice the Bears couldn’t get ultimately zone, as a substitute going into halftime trailing 3-0.
The Bears and Commanders, groups with a mixed three wins getting into the nationally televised sport, went scoreless for the primary 29 minutes of the half earlier than Commanders kicker Joey Slye made a 38-yard subject aim for the lead.
The Bears bought near taking a lead on their second and third drives however couldn’t come by means of.
After the Bears marched to the Commanders 5-yard line on their second drive, quarterback Justin Fields’ move meant for Cole Kmet bounced off a helmet, and defensive deal with Jonathan Allen intercepted it.
On the next drive, Bears operating again Khalil Herbert ripped off a 64-yard run to get to the 6-yard line, and after a Commanders penalty for 12 males on the sphere, the Bears had first-and-goal on the 3.
But Herbert was stopped for no achieve and Fields threw incomplete simply past a wide-open Ryan Griffin ultimately zone. After Fields gained 2 yards on a keeper, the Bears went for it on fourth-and-1, and Herbert was stuffed for no achieve.
The Commanders sacked Fields twice in three performs on the Bears first drive, with Efe Obada taking him down for a lack of 9 yards on first down and Daron Payne forcing one other 9-yard loss on third down.
Fields completed the half 7 of 14 for 89 yards and was sacked thrice. He additionally rushed for 32 yards on six carries.
The Bears protection sacked Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz to finish every of their first two drives, and he completed 5 of 14 for 57 yards.
Two move interference penalties — 17 yards in opposition to Kyler Gordon and 15 yards in opposition to Jaylon Johnson — helped the Commanders on their scoring drive.
Prime has all of the league’s Thursday night games — the primary time a streaming service has had the complete rights to an NFL bundle. Amazon partnered with the league to stream 11 Thursday night time video games since 2017, but it surely took over the complete bundle from Fox Sports this yr.
For native viewers, it’s somewhat simpler in case you aren’t a Prime subscriber. The Bears-Commanders sport will likely be proven on Fox-32 beginning at 7:15 p.m. You can also take heed to the sport on WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9.
Progress on protection?
Entering Week 6, solely the Seattle Seahawks (82) have allowed extra first-half factors than the Bears and Arizona Cardinals (80 every). As a end result, the Bears (2-3) have trailed at halftime in all 5 video games.
When Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins pushed forward for a 1-yard run with 2 minutes, 26 seconds remaining Sunday, it was the primary landing the Bears allowed within the second half this season. They have allowed 12 factors within the third quarter and 14 within the fourth.
“If I knew the answer, I’d tell you,” linebacker Nicholas Morrow mentioned of the drastic distinction. “We’ve just got to come out earlier and execute at a higher rate. I don’t know if there is any true answer to it because it’s not a different set of players on the field in the second half than it is in the first. It’s the same players, same coaching staff. We’ve got to figure it out.”
Progress on offense?
“Tons of progress? I don’t like using those adjectives that are extreme,” Getsy mentioned. “I’m just not that type of person. But, no, there has been progress. And we’re sticking to the plan.”
Step by step, the Bears stay persistent with their offensive evolution whereas resisting any urges to skip too far forward or land on any exaggerated conclusions.
“Your goal is to just have progress all year,” Fields said. “Progress takes patience.”
- Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts: Justin Fields’ Week 5 efficiency is not any breakthrough — but it surely’s clear proof of enchancment
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