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Week 14 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 24, Chicago Bears 21
What you need to know
Washington controls its own destiny which is good but scary. Washington is a highly inconsistent team so these next few weeks will tell us all we need to know about their season. The defense has been light years better than last year and the offense is manufacturing points. Kirk Cousins
has to continue keeping the turnovers to a minimum.
The Chicago Bears lost another winnable football game, falling 23-20 to the Washington Redskins. The John Fox-led Bears now are 1-6 at the friendly confines of Soldier Field. The biggest takeaways from the loss are very similar to the takeaways from last week’s loss -- inconsistent play-calling on offense and a missed opportunity by place kicker Robbie Gould
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase went conservative for most of the game, and the Bears’ offense struggled to move the football with any consistency. Despite the few games remaining on the schedule, the Bears’ season is over.
|QB Kirk Cousins, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 31 - 300 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 13 - 1|
had a solid game by his standards as he guided Washington to a much needed win. Kirk's day started out well as he organized a game opening drive for a touchdown. It looked as if he threw a touchdown to Jordan Reed
, but upon further review he was down at the 1 yard line. Therefore, the following play went to Alfred Morris
to cap off the touchdown drive. Kirk distributed the ball well as he found 9 different players for a reception on the day. He also followed up his game opening drive touchdown with another one on his second possession. He was accurate on an 8+ play drive that ended him using play action to run it into the end zone himself from 5 yards out. Per usual, he found a way to make it interesting as he turned the ball over in his own territory late third quarter. That resulted in Chicago being able to tie the game up. Fortunately Washington was able to muster up a field goal early 4th quarter because they went the next 3 possessions without tallying any points. Kirk manufactured just enough offense to preserve the victory.
|RB Matt Jones, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 62 - 0, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (3 targets)|
had a slow start to this game, but came on strong in the second half as he was the main running back. Matt had a total of 20 touches and was essentially a 3 down running back for long stretches of the second half. Matt didn't accumulate big yardage totals but his presence allowed the Washington offense to maintain versatility. His longest carry went for 11 yards but his biggest play was closing out the Bears on their final drive. His ability to be elusive and break tackles allowed him to secure two first downs that drained the clock and closed the door on a Bears last chance opportunity.
|RB Alfred Morris, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 24 - 1 (1 targets)|
started the game off well and looked to be featured in this game, but much like other games that wasn't the case. Alfred had 11 carries on the day and even scored the first touchdown of the game. This was a game script friendly game for Alfred to take advantage but Matt Jones
took over majority of the second half work.
|WR Pierre Garcon, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 52 - 0 (7 targets)|
is still struggling to find the end zone, but his five catches on the day was second highest total for the team. He doesn't take the top off the defense so the yardage totals remain modest. He had a 19 yard reception that helped keep their drive alive in the 2nd quarter, but his impact on this game was minimal from a receiving standpoint.
|WR Rashad Ross, 4 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (2 targets)|
is a first year player that seemed to find his way into the receiver rotation on Sunday. He only had two catches but they seem to use him in different packages to compensate for no Chris Thompson
. It is not clear what his role will be moving forward but he was slightly involved for this game.
wasn't able to build off his involvement in the prior game as he ended up with only two catches. One of them went for 29 yards as he found a crease in the defense on a shallow cross route. DeSean was fighting through a bit of leg injuries in this game as he appeared to get dinged up. The Bears payed him plenty of attention and ultimately he wasn't able to shake loose for a big play. These types of boom or bust games seem to be the norm for DeSean Jackson
was a non-factor again this week as he only tallied one catch. The presence of DeSean Jackson
has seemed to slowly diminish his role in the offense.
|TE Jordan Reed, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 120 - 1 (9 targets)|
was extremely productive in this game as he led the passing game for another week. He had 9 catches and a touchdown but could have easily been two touchdowns if he wasn't marked down at the 1 yard line. Jordan constantly made himself available beating line backs in coverage all game. He demonstrated excellent run after catch ability as he routinely shrugged off defenders for extra gains. He is clearly the number 1 option in the passing game as Kirk's comfort level is with the short passing game.
|QB Jay Cutler, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 31 - 315 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0|
is playing decent football these days. The polarizing quarterback completed 19-of-31 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns in the 23-20 loss to the Redskins. Cutler isn’t the reason the Bears loss, even though his fumble of the football cost the Bears a 10-play drive that seemed destined for at least three points.
The Cutler we saw against the Redskins wasn’t making stupid throws when faced with pressure; he wasn’t throwing balls into double, even triple-coverage. The Cutler we saw used his legs to avoid pressure, extending plays long enough to complete passes when the play looked to be dead.
Late in the first half, Cutler moved out of the pocket to find Jeremy Langford
for a seven-yard completion. Only a handful of seconds later, Cutler found Deonte Thompson
for 36 yards under similar circumstances. The drive ended when Cutler found Alshon Jeffery
in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.
Cutler continued the momentum early in the third quarter, when he led the Bears on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller
It wasn’t all roses for Cutler, who did fall short on a couple of key passes. Cutler threw short to Jeffery on at least two passes that would have resulted in 15-plus yard gains. Those really are the only knocks on Cutler after a very disappointing loss.
|RB Jeremy Langford, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 37 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (7 targets)|
really is a mixed bag right now -- some good, some bad. Langford runs the ball extremely hard, and he hits holes much quicker than Matt Forte
, who is more of an up-and-down runner. Langford also lends the Bears a lot of versatility in the passing game. The only problem is Langford doesn’t catch very well. Frown.
Langford carried the ball a team-high 11 times in the 23-20 loss to the Redskins. He gained only 37 yards on those 11 carries, for a 3.4 yard average. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase wasn’t willing to commit to the run with any consistency. The Bears as a team only ran the ball 23 times, compared to 31 passing attempts, for Jay Cutler
, on 34 total dropbacks.
In the passing game, Langford received a good bit of targets. His seven targets were good for second on the team, behind Alshon Jeffery
’s nine. Langford only caught three of his seven targets for 27 yards. With as much as Gase loves to involve his runners in the passing game, you’d figure Langford would show some signs of improvement when it comes to hauling in passes. Sadly, the drops continue to come, despite the appearance of confidence from the coaching staff.
It you want upside as your season winds down, Langford definitely has it. The Bears want to put Langford in as many new situations as possible, which is why he lines up all over the field on Sundays. It’s likely going to be the Jeremy Langford
show from here on out.
|RB Matt Forte, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 45 - 1, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)|
In recent weeks, Matt Forte
has been running up the middle more than anywhere else, without much success, to be frank. Well, the game plan changed slightly against the Redskins, with Forte spending more time trying to get to the outside. It worked, too.
While Forte only carried the ball 10 times, he was able to gain 45 yards, for an average of 4.5 yards. Forte was very effective in the run game. Why he didn’t receive more carries, who knows.
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase called 23 total run plays -- 10 for Forte, 11 for Jeremy Langford
and one for Jay Cutler
In the Bears’ Week 13 loss to San Francisco, Forte nearly doubled Langford in carries. Now that the Bears’ playoff hopes have been completed shattered, it looks like management is attempting to put Langford in as many new situations as possible. Forte merely is riding out his time before hitting free agency in the offseason.
The Bears’ No. 1 wide receiver had himself a bounce-back game in the 23-20 loss to the Redskins. Coming off a subpar effort in the crushing loss to the 49ers in Week 13, Jeffery hauled in six passes on nine targets for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Jeffery found a lot of success on plays where Jay Cutler
would move out of the pocket, extending the play long enough for his receiver to beat the coverage. Four of Jeffrey’s six receptions resulted in first downs, and one resulted in a touchdown.
Despite Eddie Royal
being back on the field, giving Cutler another potentially dangerous target, the Bears’ offense wasn’t very creative in finding ways to get Jeffery open, without a play having to break down in order to make it happen.
Jeffery is the guy every opposing defense focuses on when the game starts. The Bears have no other threats in the passing game to help alleviate some of that focus. It’s too bad rookie first-round pick Kevin White
isn’t going to make a surprise appearance this season. He’s the type of player Jeffery needs on the field, a guy who can stretch coverages and command an over-the-top presence.
|TE Zach Miller, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 85 - 1 (6 targets)|
is finding himself in a dream scenario. The Bears are without Martellus Bennett
for the remainder of the season, giving Miller an opportunity to start a couple of games in a row. If you know anything about Miller’s past, he’s battled injury his entire career -- the season-ending variety, too.
Miller played pretty well against the Redskins, despite coming out on the wrong end of the result. The tight end caught five passes on six targets for 85 yards and a touchdown. He’s quickly becoming a favorite target of Jay Cutler
While he does have some limitations, blocking, for one, Miller gives the Bears a somewhat dangerous pass-catching option who can line up anywhere on the field -- in the backfield, on the line of scrimmage or out wide.
What we’ve seen Miller do on a consistent basis is win his matchup and catch the football. There’s not a lot of analysis to it. He’s a grinder, for sure.