Washington Redskins demolish Chicago Bears, keep playoff hopes alive

By Matt Carlson, The Sports Xchange
Washington Redskins fans cheer on their team at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Washington Redskins fans cheer on their team at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO -- The Washington Redskins desperately wanted to pick up their running game to balance out their passing-driven attack.

Just about everyone on the Redskins' offensive unit took that to heart on Saturday, especially quarterback Kirk Cousins.


Cousins ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Washington Redskins boosted their playoff hopes with a 41-21 win over the Chicago Bears.

"The run game always helps ... to keep defenses honest and to open up the play action game," Cousins said. "You always want to stay as balanced as you can and have a productive running game.

"I think for the most part today we did."

The Redskins ran 35 plays on the ground that produced 208 yards, four of five touchdowns and an average gain of 5.9 yards. That nicely complemented Cousins' passing as he completed 18 of 29 attempts for 270 yards, connecting with eight different receivers.


And Cousins himself scored on 9-yard end run late in the second quarter, then barreled through a scrum and over the goal line in the third quarter as he ran five times for 30 yards.

"(The running game) is a major part of our success offensively and team-wise," coach Jay Gruden said. "Kirk made some big-time scrambles and obviously the zone-read kept us forward."

Cousins, who broke his own team record for passing yards in a single season in a 26-15 loss to Carolina on Monday, distributed the ball effectively against the scuffling Bears (3-12) in half-empty Soldier Field. The team announced that 39,837 fans attended the contest in the 62,000-seat Stadium.

Chris Thompson scored Washington's first two touchdowns -- on a 7-yard run and a 17-yard reception -- as the Redskins (8-6-1) raced out to an early 17-0 lead following a short week.

Mack Brown broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run 57 seconds left to finish the rout. That made him Washington's rushing leader in the game with 82 yards on eight carries.

Washington's ground game also included 76 rushing yards on 19 carries by Robert Kelley and 20 yards on three carries by Thompson. DeSean Jackson led the Redskins with 114 yards on five catches.


Dustin Hopkins kicked a pair of goals.

Chicago quarterback Matt Barkley was intercepted five times as Washington beat the Bears for the eighth straight time. Washington's picks completely overshadowed Barkley's two touchdown passes and 323 yards on 24-for-40 passing.

"It's a tough one to swallow," Barkley said. "There's a lot that we did well. It's just those glaring mistakes stand out and those are the ones that hurt."

Chicago coach John Fox said there was no room for that kind of error against the "high octane" Redskins, who close out their regular season next against the New York Giants at FedEx Field.

"I think with five giveaways to none, that kind of spoiled the plan."

Chicago's Jeremy Langford muscled in for a touchdown from the 1-yard line in in the second quarter and Cameron Meredith dashed into the end zone on a 17-yard pass with 41 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 24-14.

Deonte Thompson pulled in a 3-yard touchdown pass with 1:26 left in the game for the Bears. Meredith had nine receptions for 135 yards.


Jordan Howard led Chicago's in rushing with 119 yards on 18 carries as the Bears finished 3-5 at home.

The Redskins jumped out to a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter. Thompson sprinted 7 yards into the end zone to cap Washington's 65-yard march on eight plays in its second possession for a 7-0 lead with 7:48 left in the first quarter.

The Bears stormed back on the next possession, but Connor Barth's 22-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Preston Smith.

Cousins and the Redskins responded by covering 80 yards on five plays. Thompson easily dashed into the end zone with 57 seconds left in the quarter after pulling in a short pass.

Cousins found Pierre Garcon twice with long passes to fuel a nine-play drive that culminated with Hopkins' 29-yard field goal early in the second quarter to extend Washington's lead to 17-0.

The Bears cut it to 17-7 when Langford muscled through a scrum and over the goal line from 1 yard out with 6:27 left in the quarter and Barth followed with the extra point.

Cousins ran in the Redskins' third touchdown, scooting wide and just inside right marker from the 9-yard line with 1:48 left in the half.


Barkley kept the Bears within striking range, hitting Meredith with 21-yard touchdown pass late the second quarter. Barth's extra point closed it to 24-14.

Cousins plowed in from the 1-yard line for his second touchdown with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter. Hopkins' second field goal early in the fourth made it 34-14.

Thompson hauled in Barkley's pass in the end zone in the final minutes before Brown broke free for 61-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left to end the rout.


Chicago ILB Jerrell Freeman started after returning from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.

Washington TE Vernon Davis started over TE Jordan Reed.

Redskins Nickel LB Su'a Cravens (elbow) was out a second week for Washington.

Chicago NT C.J. Wilson started in place of the injured Eddie Goldman (ankle) and CB Bryce Callahan for Cre'Von LeBlanc.

Among the Bears who left the game an did not return were DB Deon Bush (ankle) LB Leonard Floyd (concussion protocol) and TE Daniel Brown (shoulder).

Washington WR DeSean Jackson left in the third quarter (jaw).

A pair of brothers, Washington CB Kendall Fuller and Bears CB Kyle Fuller, hoped to meet in a game for the first time. But Kyle Fuller, Chicago's first-round pick in 2014, didn't recover from knee surgery as expected and was placed back on IR earlier in the week.


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