5 things to watch in the Chicago Bears-Washington Commanders game — plus our Week 5 predictions

The Chicago Bears will attempt to halt their 14-game shedding streak once they go to the Washington Commanders for “Thursday Night Football.”

The sport comes simply 4 days after the Bears dropped to 0-4 after blowing a 21-point second-half lead in opposition to the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the Commanders (2-2) are coming off an additional time loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

As kickoff approaches at FedEx Field, right here’s our snapshot take a look at the sport.

Players within the highlight

The Bears offensive line

The Commanders have a formidable entrance 4 of defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen and defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young. The quartet has mixed for 8 1/2 sacks and 19 quarterback hits.

That makes for an enormous problem for the Bears offensive line and quarterback Justin Fields, who has been sacked 17 occasions this season.

“Guys are just going to have to be great on double teams, sustain blocks for a long time and really just protect,” Fields stated. “We know everything kind of starts with the O-line. They know they’re going up against a talented group, but they’re excited because it’s an opportunity for them to go out there and ball out.”

Right guard Nate Davis referred to as it “a good challenge” going up in opposition to “one of the toughest defensive lines in the league.”

Davis returned to play in opposition to the Broncos after a two-game absence as he grieved the demise of his mom. Davis stated there was “no clear-cut answer” as to when he was mentally able to play once more.

“Everyone handles it differently,” Davis stated. “For me, it’s just being able to talk to the guys, talk to my family and just take it one day at a time because it’s tough, for sure.”

He stated the coaches additionally supplied him assist as he made the choice about when to return.

“Just being able to really just air out everything I’m feeling and them just taking it all in and giving me the right approach and telling me the right things too,” Davis stated. “I’m really grateful for this team just being there for me through everything.”

While Davis is again, the Bears nonetheless will likely be with out beginning left sort out Braxton Jones, who’s on injured reserve with a neck harm. Left guard Teven Jenkins has been designated to return from IR, however coach Matt Eberflus stated they might determine Thursday whether or not he’ll be capable of play following a brief observe week.

Keep a watch on …

The Bears move rushers

No quarterback has been sacked extra this season than the Commanders’ Sam Howell, who has been taken down 24 occasions for 156 yards misplaced. The Buffalo Bills sacked him 9 occasions in a 37-3 victory in Week 3.

Those stats need to look candy to the Bears protection, which has totaled a league-low two sacks. Yannick Ngakoue had one within the opener, and Zacch Pickens and Dominique Robinson shared one other Sunday.

“I feel like this Thursday night we can spark something special,” Ngakoue stated. “We’re simply going over the sport plan, we’re positively evaluating tape and seeing what we are able to do higher, however I’m nonetheless optimistic. I’m very excited to see what this group can actually do.

“We have to remind ourselves about getting off the ball, being able to play fast and physical, and those opportunities will present themselves.”

The Bears may gain advantage from making life troublesome for Howell up entrance given they once more will likely be taking part in a younger secondary that features rookie cornerbacks Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith, who will fill in for injured Jaylon Johnson.

The younger duo takes on Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin, who was tenth in receiving yards final season with 1,191 and leads the crew this 12 months with 21 catches for 212 yards and a landing. Curtis Samuel is second with 17 catches for 178 yards.

“(Stevenson and Smith) look like it’s not too big for them,” cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke stated. “They’re pretty composed. They have a lot of confidence in themselves, and we have a lot of confidence in them. I thought they held up good (against the Broncos). They went in there with the right mindset. Obviously the end result wasn’t what we wanted, but as long as they keep improving, that’s going to be a big thing for them.”

Pressing query

Can Justin Fields and the Bears offense construct on their efficiency in opposition to the Broncos?

Fields had one of the best sport of his profession in opposition to the Broncos earlier than the Bears’ fourth-quarter collapse, ending 28-for-35 for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver DJ Moore had eight catches for 131 yards and a landing. And operating again Khalil Herbert had 18 carries for 103 yards and 4 catches for 19 yards and a landing.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy additionally highlighted the Bears getting some explosive performs within the run sport, with Herbert breaking for 24- and 21-yard positive factors. It’s one thing the Bears hope they will proceed, even in opposition to higher defenses.

“There’s a lot of momentum going from what we did, especially what (Fields) did, in the first half, putting up the numbers we put up,” Moore stated. “That’s something to build on always.”

Now the Bears usually are not solely attempting to copy the manufacturing but additionally determining end after their fourth-quarter collapse, which included two Fields turnovers.

“Just keep going at them,” tight finish Robert Tonyan stated of ending. “Speaking offensively, just not letting a defense dictate what we run. Just keep going at them and keep our foot on the pedal and just continuously running the same thing throughout the four quarters.”

The warmth is on

Eberflus’ job standing has been a sizzling matter of dialog in Chicago this week following the Bears’ winless begin and a number of off-the-field points, together with the resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams and broad receiver Chase Claypool being requested to avoid the crew.

Eberflus, who additionally was scrutinized for his late-game choices in opposition to the Broncos, is conscious of the discuss.

“I’ve been doing this 32 years, so I understand the business, but I understand that to do it right you’ve got to focus on your job, and you’ve got to focus on right here, right now,” he stated. “So you can think about a lot of different things. That’s going to do nobody good. You can focus on your job and where your feet are right now. Our sole focus is on Washington.”

Eberflus stated he hasn’t spoken with any of the Bears higher-ups about his job safety however stated he does “feel the support.” He stated the Bears are within the technique of bringing collectively a crew with many new gamers.

“I don’t see it as a challenge,” he stated of main this group. ”I see it as actually being a servant chief. They’re right here to assist everyone else. That’s an essential a part of this job, to have the ability to information and direct, and we’re within the technique of that. Last week I stated we did a pleasant job of that. We stepped in the proper course and we’re trying to step within the subsequent course coming into Washington.”

Injury report

The Bears once more will likely be with out Johnson (hamstring) and security Eddie Jackson (foot). Second-year security Jaquan Brisker was listed as questionable after he was restricted in observe Wednesday with a hamstring harm.

The Bears signed Eleventh-year veteran security Duron Harmon this week off the Baltimore Ravens observe squad. Eberflus stated the Bears preferred the expertise and stability Harmon may deliver to the defensive backs room.

But Eberflus didn’t say if Harmon could possibly be able to play after simply a few days with the crew if Brisker is out.

“Harmon just got here, so we’ll see where it goes in terms of his mental prep,” Eberflus stated. “But we’ve been working on that the last couple of days here, so we’ll see where it is.”

Jenkins additionally was listed as questionable, and Eberflus stated they might work him out Thursday to see the place he’s at. The Bears have additional observe time earlier than Week 6 to get gamers on top of things if they will’t go this week.

As Eberflus introduced Monday, Claypool is also out this week after the Bears requested him to remain residence as a result of he has failed to fulfill crew expectations.

For the Commanders, solely operating again Chris Rodriguez Jr. was listed as questionable with an sickness.


Brad Biggs (3-1)

The final three quarterbacks the Commanders confronted — Russell Wilson, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts — damage the protection at crucial occasions with lengthy runs, and Justin Fields rushed for 88 yards within the Week 6 assembly at Soldier Field final season during which he actually began to get happening the bottom. The Bears will hope to construct momentum on Fields’ 335-yard passing effort in opposition to the Broncos. But the Commanders have arguably one of the best defensive position the Bears will face all season, and quarterback Sam Howell ought to be capable of make explosive performs with a gifted forged of receivers in opposition to a depleted secondary.

Commanders 27, Bears 20

Colleen Kane (3-1)

The Bears want this win so badly coming off the blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after which the heartbreaking collapse in opposition to the Denver Broncos. A victory may calm a few of the discontent — and perhaps a few of the questions on coaches’ job safety — all through town. And the Bears may head into the mini-bye with some psychological peace as in addition they attempt to get more healthy heading into different winnable video games in October. But the Commanders defensive position may make life troublesome for Justin Fields and the Bears offense, threatening to hinder the progress the unit made in opposition to a nasty Broncos protection. And the Bears protection nonetheless will likely be with out a number of starters within the secondary. That won’t be a recipe for a win.

Commanders 26, Bears 24

Dan Wiederer (3-1)

The Bears are on the highway in a brief week with a depleted secondary and the load of a 14-game shedding streak. The Commanders, in the meantime, have a disruptive defensive entrance that may make life troublesome for the Bears offensive line and, by extension, quarterback Justin Fields. Until additional discover and till the Bears show they’ve discovered a crowning glory, it’s laborious to choose them. Here’s to holding it shut after which getting a much-needed reset over the weekend.

Commanders 27, Bears 23