3 and Out: DJ Moore, Chicago Bears bust losing streak in big way

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields passes around Washington defensive end Khalid Kareem during the second half, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Landover, Md.

The losing streak is over.

Behind a career day for wideout DJ Moore, the Bears snapped their 14 game losing streak and won their first game since Oct. 24 with a 40-20 victory over the Washington Commanders on Thursday night. Here’s what you need to know:

Three moments that mattered

1. Streak busted: Justin Fields found Moore for a dagger 56-yard touchdown with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter to put the Bears up 37-20. With Washington riding a hot second half and coming off a missed field goal, the Bears finally put the ball game away to break the 14-game losing streak.

2. No good: With 5:14 left in the fourth quarter, the Bears got a big break after Commanders kicker Joey Slye missed a 46-yard field goal, which would’ve made it a one-score game. With defensive injuries mounting and sluggish offense in the second half, that score would’ve put the Bears on the ropes just a few days after blowing a franchise-record 21-point lead.

3. Shades of last week: Trailing 30-14 with 10:51 left in the game, Commanders QB Sam Howell connected with Curtis Samuel for a 3-yard touchdown. The subsequent two-point conversion failed. After a quiet first half, Howell was 17 for 22 with 201 yards and carving up the Bears secondary at that point in the game. The Bears still must get better in the second half.

Three things that worked

1. Mr. 230: For the second consecutive week, Moore was exceptional. Fields and Moore connected for 78 yards on two catches with a touchdown on the opening drive. Then, with 14:15 left in the second quarter, Fields hit Moore for a highlight reel 11-yard touchdown. It was a capstone play on a brilliant first half: five catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Moore finished with a career-high 230 yards, eight catches and three touchdowns.

2. Halfway there: Fields put together his second consecutive fantastic first half performance. This week, it was 12 for 20, 189 yards with three touchdowns. Khalil Herbert added 76 yards on the ground, and the offense converted 6 of 9 third downs to stay on the field and finish drives with points. Add in a strong defensive effort, the Bears led a surprising 27-3 at half.

3. Takeaways: Entering Thursday, the only interception the Bears generated was against Chiefs backup QB Blaine Gabbert two weeks ago. Defensive back Greg Stroman picked off Howell late in the second quarter, which eventually led to a touchdown catch for Cole Kmet and a 24-point advantage. Stroman later picked up a fumble in the third quarter. The defensive line also had five sacks.

Three things that didn’t

1. Secondary woes: The defensive backfield is missing starters Eddie Jackson, Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson, and the Commanders had all the makings of a second-half comeback. They finished the game with 19 passing first downs. Tight end Logan Thomas had nine catches to lead all Commanders receivers.

2. Get off the field: Washington was 6 of 12 on third down, which kept the Commanders in the game in the second half.

3. Mooney: It proved to be inconsequential – and the Bears did scheme it up – but Fields has to get the Darnell Mooney connection going. Mooney had no catches on four targets. They had a few close misfires, but they’ll need Mooney to compliment Moore the rest of the way.

What’s next?

The Minnesota Vikings visit Soldier Field on Oct. 15 for an NFC North matchup.

Jacob Bartelson

Jacob Bartelson

Jake is a full-time sports reporter writing primarily for the Kane County Chronicle covering preps. His collective work is featured across several Shaw markets and platforms, including Friday Night Drive and Bears Insider. Jake began full-time in 2017.