Bears come up inches short in comeback effort against Washington
CHICAGO -- Even after all the ugliness Thursday night, the Bears had a chance.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields scrambled for a 39-yard gain down to the 4-yard line with the clock ticking under a minute. Needing a touchdown on fourth-and-goal, Fields connected with receiver Darnell Mooney on a tough catch -- but the ball never crossed the goal line.
The Commanders beat the Bears 12-7 on Thursday night at Soldier Field. For the Bears, it was a heartbreaking way to lose a game. Mooney made a highly difficult catch, but the ball was inches short.
The pass originally crossed the goal line, but Mooney bobbled it. When he finally gained control, he was short of the end zone.
In a matchup between two NFC teams with losing records on a nationally broadcast game, neither offense showed much promise. The Commanders were apparently the team more prepared to win ugly. Washington quarterback Carson Wentz didn't have a great performance, but it was enough to stay ahead of Fields and the Bears. Wentz threw for 99 yards on 12-of-22 passing with no touchdowns.
The first half, in particular, was a mess. Washington took a 3-0 lead into halftime. The only scoring drive of the half was aided by a pair of defensive pass interference penalties against the Bears. The Bears twice reached the red zone in the first half and twice came away with no points.
After halftime, Fields connected with receiver Dante Pettis for a 40-yard touchdown to give the Bears their first lead, 7-3. It was arguably the Bears' best offensive play of the game and could've been a spark for head coach Matt Eberflus' team.
Instead, it was one of the few highlights. Things went from bad to worse for the Bears in the fourth quarter.
For the second time in three weeks, Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr. muffed a fourth-quarter punt that turned out to be quite costly. Jones fumbled a punt near his own 10-yard line and the Commanders recovered it at the 6. Washington running back Brian Robinson Jr. punched in a 1-yard touchdown run moments later.
Fields was under pressure all game long. His offensive line struggled at nearly every position.
His best drive of the game might have come in the first half, when he led the Bears 61 yards on 11 plays. The drive ended with a tipped pass near the goal line that landed in the hands of Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.
Thursday was supposed to be one of the more winnable games on the Bears' schedule. Now, Eberflus and the Bears are searching for answer. The Bears (2-4) have lost three consecutive games. The Commanders (2-4) had lost four in a row entering play Thursday.
Fields gave his team a chance near the end, but the Bears fell inches short. Fields was 14-for-27 passing for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He allowed five sacks in the game, while also rushing for 88 yards on 12 carries.