Thursday Night Football Recap: Commanders top Bears 12-7 in tight defensive battle

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nam Y Huh/AP/Shutterstock (13463481ag) Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. celebrates after a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago Commanders Bears Football, Chicago, United States – 13 Oct 2022

Thursday Night Football Recap: Commanders top Bears 12-7 in tight defensive battle

Commanders 12, Bears 7

The Washington Commanders arrived at Soldier Field in Chicago Thursday night in desperate need of a win, having lost four in a row after their season-opening win against Jacksonville. Much was made all week about Ron Rivera’s public criticism of Carson Wentz, but Wentz entered the night 6-0 in his career on Thursday Night Football with 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Chicago Bears entered the night on a two-game losing streak of their own but hadn’t lost at home in 2022. 

Both struggling quarterbacks continued the poor play that had plagued them all season in the first half, as the defenses dominated in the early going. Chicago’s offense put together two strong drives that moved deep into Commanders’ territory but saw the opportunities end on a tipped interception and a turnover on downs. Washington and Chicago combined for seven punts on ten total first-half possessions, but it was the Commanders who would finally break through moments before halftime with a 38-yard field goal by Joey Slye to take a 3-0 lead. 

After a Washington punt pinned the Bears deep in their own territory to begin the third quarter, Chicago would put together the best drive of the night by either team – a 9-play, 94-yard trip capped off by a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis. The Commanders began to open up the playbook a bit on the following possession, getting Antonio Gibson more heavily involved while pushing the ball into Chicago territory. They’d settle for another Joey Slye field goal, cutting their deficit to 7-6 as the final quarter got underway. After forcing yet another Chicago punt, Washington would finally punch in a touchdown on their next drive – the first in the career of rookie running back Brian Robinson, who was shot in the leg less than two months ago in an attempted carjacking. Their two-point conversion attempt would fail, leaving the lead at just 12-7 midway through the fourth quarter.

Washington would stop Chicago again on downs on the ensuing drive, taking the ball back with two and a half minutes remaining. The Commanders gained a first down but ultimately settled for a field goal attempt with 1:54 to go. When Joey Slye’s field goal attempt missed wide left, Justin Fields would take over with one final opportunity to lead a game-winning touchdown drive. Chicago would finally appear poised to take advantage, as a big pass play to David Montgomery and a 39-yard scamper by Justin Fields set up the Bears in prime position inside the Washington 10-yard line with under a minute to play. Ultimately Justin Fields’ pass to Darnell Mooney on fourth and goal would fall just short with thirty seconds to play, clinching the road win for Washington. The Bears averaged more than six yards per carry on the night, finishing with 238 rush yards and outgaining the Commanders by 110 yards overall – but their inability to cash in in the red zone would ultimately doom them. Carson Wentz finished the night with just 99 yards passing, but Washington played turnover-free football en route to just their second win of the year.

Next Week: Washington: vs Green Bay, Chicago: at New England

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