The Chicago Bears were beaten by the Washington Commanders, 12-7, on Thursday Night Football, where they fell to 2-4 this season.
It was another demoralizing loss for the Bears against a bad Commanders team, where there were opportunities for Chicago to pick up the win. The Bears’ red zone offense went 0-3 and managed just seven runs. Chicago’s defense played its best game of the season, but another failed punt ultimately cost the Bears.
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But there were some encouraging (and not so encouraging) outings coming out of this game.
Here’s a look at which Bears players are trending up or down after Thursday’s Week 6 loss to the Commanders.
After a rocky start to his rookie season, cornerback Kyler Gordon has put together back-to-back strong games against the Vikings and Commanders. Against Washington, he had six tackles and a pass breakup, and he was the Bears’ second-highest-ranked defensive player by Pro Football Focus at 77.8. Gordon, who has been harassed by opposing attacks, has improved in his coverage and tackles, and we’re starting to see his playmaking potential in Chicago.
Like Gordon, wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. had a rocky start to his rookie season. Jones missed the first three games with a hamstring injury, and his first three games included costly mistakes on special teams. Jones has missed two punts in recent games, costing the Bears a chance for a fourth quarter win. In limited attacking action, Jones showed his potential. His first catch in the NFL was a touchdown against the Vikings in Week 5. It remains to be seen if Jones will have a chance to put things right in the return game, but Matt Eberflus allowed the rookies to play through mistakes this season.
Safety Jaquan Brisker has also had his share of growing pains for rookies, but we see just how much of an impact he can make in this defense. Brisker is coming off an impressive outing against the Commanders, where he had five tackles, including one for a loss, as well as a sack. Brisker was among the Bears’ highest-ranked defensive players in the PFF with 72.5. Like Gordon, he begins to come into his own in his rookie season.
It was one step forward, two steps back for quarterback Justin Fields. But it’s not entirely his fault. After an encouraging outing against the Vikings in Week 5, Fields took a step back against the Commanders. He was under duress all night, taking five sacks and 18 pressures (not all of them on the offensive line) and didn’t get much help from his receivers or freshman caller. With Fields’ development being the most important thing this season, it’s hard not to worry about Week 6. But the hope is that there will still be positives to build on heading into an offseason that should rearrange the list.
Chicago’s defense had its best outing of the season against a poor Washington team, where it went a full game. They held Carson Wentz to within 100 passing yards and the Commanders to 128 rushing yards, which is progress for this run defense. The Bears limited Washington to just two field goals until late in the fourth quarter, when a missed punt gave the Commanders the ball at Chicago’s 6-yard line. Two plays later, Washington hit him in the end zone. It was only the second touchdown the Bears defense allowed in the second half this season. This performance was definitely something to build on.