The Washington Redskins survived a couple close calls to beat the Chicago Bears and maintain a hold on first place in the NFC East, 24-21.
The Redskins finally won on the road this season. They started the day tied with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants atop the division, with the Dallas Cowboys just a game behind.
The Bears had a chance to win late, but kicker Robbie Gould pushed a 50 yard field goal wide right. Chicago also had a chance to recover a fumble when Redskins running back Matt Jones caught a deflected pass, but tossed the ball aside, thinking he was down. Fortunately for the Redskins, Jones got the ball back.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished with 300 yards passing and also ran in for a touchdown. Tight end Jordan Reed has 120 yard receiving and caught a touchdown pass. The ground game only gained 99 yards.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 315 yard and two touchdowns, making some clutch throws to put in the a good position. But the Redskins defense sacked him three times and some late throws were off-target.
Washington faces the Buffalo Bills in D.C. for their last home game of the regular season. They'll finish on the road against Philadelphia and Dallas, with the division title likely on the line.
*** game log follows ***
After the opening kickoff went out of the end zone, the Redskins started the game with an even split of run and pass before a sack put an end to the forward progress. Set up with a third and long, Cousins hooked up with Rashad Ross for 17 yards and a first down.
A series of runs and short passes got them inside the 20 yard line. A strong effort for tight end Jordan Reed got the ball down to the 1 yard line. Running back Alfred Morris capped off the 15 play, 80 yard drove with a surge into the end zone.
Redskins 7, Bears 0
After a sack and a holding penalty on their opening drive, the Bears faced a third and 24. But a screen pass was not enough to get them the first down and forced a punt.
Starting on their own 7, Cousins rolled out and tossed a pass to tight end Derek Carrier, who needed help off the field after suffering a right knee injury. He was listed as out by the team.
The Redskins started getting chunks of yards after a pass interference penalty by the Bears and a 28 yard catch and run by Reed to give the offense first and goal at the 9 yard line as the first quarter ended.
After flipping the field, Cousins went right back to Reed for another six yards. The next play, Cousins called his own number, using the read option to get into the end zone untouched after an eight play and 89 yard drive.
Redskins 14, Bears 0
The Bears converted a third and long after strong play by the Redskins defense. Quarterback Jay Cutler made two key passes to extend the drive, but came up shaking his throwing arm after both plays.
Facing a third and eight, the defense appeared to be confused, allowing Cutler to find Jeffery for 12 yards. The next play, the defense rose up, sacking Cutler and forcing the ball loose. Trent Murphy had the sack and the fumble recovery to give the ball to the offense near mid-field.
New running back Pierre Thomas, replacing injured Chris Thompson, got his first touch as a Redskin, catching a 12 yard pass to pick up yards lost on a penalty. But it was the Bears defense’s turn to get to the quarterback, sacking Cousins for 10 yards.
The Redskins punted the ball out of bounds, giving the Bears the ball on the 22 and prevented Washington from capitalizing on the turnover.
The Bears offense tried to get into the act. Cutler hit tight end Zach Miller for a gain of 30 yard and pushed them into Redskins territory.
But a holding penalty and an offensive pass interference penalty pushed the Bears back to their side of the field. An incomplete pass brought up a third and 28, and a short pass forced another Bears punt.
With the opportunity of another long drive, two short runs got the game to the 2 minute warning and brought up third and 11. Cousins was sacked again, forcing another punt. The Bears got the ball close to midfield with a little more than a minute to go in the half.
A quick offsides penalty, a short pass, and a shot down the field that was incomplete brought up another long third down. But Cutler took advantage of a broken down play to complete a pass down to the 20 yard line.
Cutler made the Redskins defense pay, throwing a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery, with 18 seconds to go in the half.
Redskins 14, Bears 7The Bears went three and out on their opening drive of the second half, helped by a sack by Ryan Kerrigan.
Reed continues to be strong for the Redskins, turning a short pass into a long gain for 32 yards. Running back Matt Jones followed through with his own running, getting the offense inside the 10 yards line with three consecutive runs.
A short pass to Jones got the ball to the 3 yard line. Fullback Darrel Young caught a swing pass but could only get to the 1 yard line.
Some confusion on the offense results in a timeout and then a delay of game pushed the offense off the goal line. Cousins wasn’t going to let that stop him, throwing a dart to Reed for the short touchdown
Redskins 21, Bears 7
Perhaps sensing they didn’t want the game to get away from them, the Bears offense picked up the tempo. A personal foul for unnecessary roughness helped the Bears move quickly down the field with some quick passing plays, getting them inside the 20 in just seven plays.
Facing another third down, Cutler found Miller on an inside slant for a 9 yard catch and a touchdown. It took the offense 10 plays to travel 80 yards.
Redskins 21, Bears 14
Maybe trying to retake the momentum, Cousins tossed an interception on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to the Bears on the 21 yard line.
It only took three plays before Matt Forte got into the end zone for the Bears, tying up the game at 21 all.
Redskins 21, Bears 21
The Redskins need to step up and appeared to get going with a long strike to DeSean Jackson, who appeared to come up lame after the catch but stayed in the game as the third quarter ended.
The drive stalled inside the 30 yard line, and kicker Dustin Hopkins drilled a 47 yard field goal to pull them back in the lead.
Redskins 24, Bears 21
The Bears offense sputtered, going three and out, forcing another punt, their fourth of the day. The Redskins offense started inside their own 20.
A rollout by Cousins and sidelines catch by Garcon got them out of the shadow of their goal post. A couple of rushes from Jones and a sliding catch by Jackson put them in Bears territory.
A penalty pushed them back to the wrong side of the 50 yard line. An 11-yard catch by Garcon got them back closer to the Bears end zone. A third down pass attempt to Jackson fell incomplete and the Redskins punt pinned Chicago on the 6 yard line.
The Bears couldn’t sustain a drive, only hanging on to the ball for three minutes. But their punt pinned the Redskins deep in their own territory.
The offense was able to move for a bit before facing a third down play. Cousins heaved a desperation pass toward Reed that was deflected into the air and caught by Jones.
However, Jones apparently thought he was down and flipped the ball away, creating a fumble. In a bit of fortune, the ball bounced right back to him.
The offense couldn’t keep it going and were forced to punt.
Cutler took advantage quickly, toss a 50 yard pass to Jeffrey and bringing the Bears closer to a tying or winning score just before the 2 minute warning.
A shot at the end zone to Jeffrey was broken up by Breeland and another shot to Royal fell incomplete. Kicker Robbie Gould came on for a 50 yard attempt, but he pushed it to the right.
With 1:40 to go in the game, the Redskins needed to chew up the clock and seal the win.