They did it. They finally did it. After many close calls, after several blown opportunities and after numerous heartbreaks, the Bears won a football game– 346 days since their last win. A breakthrough like that would be emotional for any team, but it was even more emotional for the Bears since news broke just hours before kickoff that legendary linebacker Dick Butkus had died. This was a big one, folks, so we’re gonna mix things up a bit. All studs. No duds.
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The Bears needed a quick spark after Week 4’s disastrous finish, and their No. 1 wide receiver got the job done. Then he did it again, and again. On the offense’s game-opening drive, they faced a 3rd-and-9 and looked destined for a three-and-out. But Moore got free for a 58-yard reception, the team’s longest of the season, and from there they were off and running. Moore did a lot more damage and he did it as he usually does, with strong runs after the catch and impressive grabs in contested situations. Late in the game, when the Commanders had fought back and the Bears needed another spark, Moore was the man again. This time it was a 56-yard catch and run to score with four minutes to go to seal the Bears win. Moore finished the day with eight catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
Moore got wide open for several of his big plays, but the others only happened because Fields appeared to trust him to win contested catches more than he has in the past. That’s a real growth point for the QB as he continues to get comfortable throwing to “NFL open” receivers rather than the wide, wide open receivers he saw at Ohio State. Beyond those big time throws to Moore, Fields looked comfortable and decisive for the second week in a row. He was almost always on the money with his throws and only missed a small number of opportunities. Fields also did a great job keeping his eyes downfield when he had time, and having the sixth sense to take off when he needed to. Fields has now played extremely well in back-to-back games after an awful start over the first three games.
Not to be outdone by his pass game counterparts, Herbert ran with an edge in Week 5. He was elusive in zone schemes, making the one cut necessary to reel off big gains. He was physical and kept his legs moving through contact to churn out extra yards. That was important to keep the Bears offense both balanced and rolling through the end of their dominant first half. Herbert also showed great guts by trying to battle through discomfort in the third quarter. Herbert hurt himself when he bent backwards awkwardly while trying to reel in a catch. He came back in the game briefly with what appeared to be an entire roll of tape around his ankle, but he was too banged up to continue. Herbert finished with 10 carries for 76 yards.
BEARS OFFENSIVE LINE
One big reason why both Fields looked great and Herbert had a highly-efficient day was because the big guys up front made it easy for them. Right out the gate, the offensive line held their ground against the Commanders’ fearsome pass rush and gave Fields plenty of time to read the defense, find his open receivers and deliver accurate passes. The unit got a boost from the return of Teven Jenkins at left guard. Jenkins was on a pitch count, so he rotated in and out of the game. Lucas Patrick also suffered a concussion, forcing Cody Whitehair to move back to center. When Jenkins and Whitehair were in the game at the same time, the run blocking noticeably improved and Herbert had big gaps to run through. This was a statement performance for a maligned group against one of the best defensive lines in the league.
Next man up! Stroman has played a lot of snaps this season only because Kyler Gordon and Josh Blackwell are both on injured reserve, and he’s made the most of his opportunity. Stroman was more than just a fill-in against the Commanders, he made high impact plays that helped the team win. First, Stroman intercepted a pass to give the Bears offense a short field. The Bears eventually scored a touchdown off the interception. Then, he got home on a blitz for a big sack as the Commanders were approaching the red zone. That Commanders drive stalled after the sack and they ultimately settled for a field goal to make the score 27-14, which kept the game at a two-score margin. He finished the game with seven tackles, which was fourth-most on the team.