CHICAGO – Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley had a day to forget against the Washington Redskins on Christmas Eve. The Redskins’ defense stifled the fourth-year signal caller by forcing him to throw five interceptions, two each to Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, leading to a 41-21 rout and handing the Bears their 12th loss of […]
CHICAGO – Chicago Bears quarterback Matt Barkley had a day to forget against the Washington Redskins on Christmas Eve.
The Redskins’ defense stifled the fourth-year signal caller by forcing him to throw five interceptions, two each to Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, leading to a 41-21 rout and handing the Bears their 12th loss of the season.
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, in comparison, had an efficient performance through the air and on the ground. Cousins threw for 270 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 30 yards and two scores.
“It was a combination of factors to get us down there to put points on the board today to get a win,” Cousins said. “Big plays by the receivers and we ran the ball effectively.”
Redskins running back Chris Thompson had early success in the game when he tallied the first score of the day by running into the endzone from seven yards out. On the ensuing possession, Barkley led a promising drive down to Washington’s 4-yard line before missing receiver Alshon Jeffery on a pass to the left side, forcing Chicago to attempt a field goal.
Just as it looked like the Bears were going to put points on the board, Preston Smith blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt from Connor Barth. Just two plays into Washington’s ensuring drive, Cousins hit DeSean Jackson for 57 yards to put Chicago on the ropes.
Cousins was under duress three plays later on third and long when he tossed a screen pass to Thompson, who followed his blockers past the pursuing linebackers for a 17-yard touchdown scamper. Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins added a 29-yard field goal later in the second quarter to put Washington up 17-0.
The only thing that seemed to be working for Chicago was its impressive rushing attack. Rookie running back Jordan Howard led the charge with 119 yards, but Jeremy Langford punched in the only rushing touchdown from a yard out with just more than six minutes remaining until halftime.
Despite Chicago responding promptly, Cousins led a nine-play, 91-yard drive where he called his own number on a read-option and ran from nine yards out to paydirt. Barkley showed some fight on the ensuing possession, though. The former USC Trojan hit Jeffery on a 37-yard bomb over Norman and then Cameron Meredith (leading receiver, 135 yards) on a 21-yard touchdown just before the half.
Washington harassed Barkley the rest of the game and Chicago only managed to score one more time in the fourth quarter on a Deonte Thompson touchdown reception. However, Washington poured it on by scoring on another Cousins touchdown scamper and a Hopkins field goal in the third quarter. To add insult to injury, Mack Brown finished the game off with a 61-yard touchdown run in the final quarter to keep the Redskins’ playoff hopes alive.
Washington goes on to face the New York Giants on New Year’s Day in a pivotal divisional matchup that could potentially extend the Redskins’ season for another game, with some outside help and a victory. The Redskins must win their game and the Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers game must not end in a tie in order for them to make the playoffs as the NFC’s sixth seed.
“It was a big win. These guys came out here and competed and did a nice job,” said Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden. “To create five turnovers overall was important. We still have ways to go, without a doubt. I’m a little disappointed that we are not in a better shape at getting into the playoffs this year, but I think we are trending upward with what we are trying to do here.”