Chicago Bears extensive receiver DJ Moore ran 8 yards up the left sideline after which abruptly circled to take a look at quarterback Justin Fields on Thursday night time at FedEx Field.
As the soccer sailed towards Moore, Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller tried to leap in entrance and make a play, however Moore leaped up behind him and grabbed the cross out of the air. As Moore turned and sprinted one other 48 yards to the tip zone, the identical emotion was operating via the minds of Fields and tight finish Cole Kmet — and positively many, many others all through Bears nation.
“Sigh of relief,” Fields mentioned.
“Relief,” Kmet mentioned. “Relief. It’s been a long time coming.”
Moore’s 56-yard landing with 4 minutes, 18 seconds to play sealed a 40-20 victory over the Commanders to snap a 14-game dropping streak. It had been 346 days, to be precise, for the reason that Bears had received a recreation.
The final one the Bears had performed, simply 4 days earlier towards the Denver Broncos, concerned a 21-point Bears lead after which a crushing collapse, mentioning questions once more in regards to the Bears’ — and Fields’ — means to complete. So anybody might need been forgiven for rising nervous because the Commanders chipped away at a 27-3 Bears halftime lead.
Instead, Moore’s eighth catch of the day — and third landing — helped the Bears right into a profitable locker room for the primary time this season.
An evening that began with a second of silence to mourn the dying of legendary Bears linebacker Dick Butkus ended with music thumping via the guests locker room in a celebration he absolutely would have loved. Bears coach Matt Eberflus, whose job safety had been the topic of hypothesis all week, complimented his gamers on “sticking together during our adversity.” And Fields, who has thrown for 617 yards and eight touchdowns within the final two weeks, began rattling off folks he liked.
“It just felt good, just seeing all the hard work pay off,” Fields mentioned. “Getting a win after everything that’s happened this year — everything in the media, everything on the outside. … I’m proud of everybody in the building. I love everybody on my team — players, coaches, shoot, everybody upstairs. I might not even know them, but I love you all. That feeling was a feeling you never wanted to end.”
For quite a lot of moments, it was unclear if the Bears have been going to have the ability to seize that feeling.
The Commanders lower the Bears’ result in 10 factors on quarterback Sam Howell’s 3-yard landing cross to Curtis Samuel with 10:55 to play. The Bears, who misplaced operating backs Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer to accidents within the recreation, went three-and-out on their subsequent drive, giving the Commanders an opportunity to drag inside a landing.
But the protection got here up with a cease on the next drive, which included defensive finish Yannick Ngakoue getting considered one of 5 Bears sacks within the recreation. Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson broke up a deep cross to Terry McLaurin that initially was flagged for cross interference earlier than officers decided there was no penalty. And Commanders kicker Joey Slye then missed a 46-yard area purpose extensive proper.
Eberflus mentioned his message all week was about ending.
“You finish with detail. You finish with the cycle of the snap. You finish playing one play,” Eberflus mentioned. “You can’t look at the scoreboard. … If you keep it that way, execution is going to be good.”
Three performs later, on third-and-2, Moore made the sealing play, bringing him to 230 receiving yards for the sport, second-most in a single recreation in Bears historical past behind Alshon Jeffery’s 249 in 2013. The Fields-Moore connection was one of many large causes the Bears have been capable of construct such a giant lead, together with some strong offensive line play and a pair of takeaways from the Bears protection.
Moore mentioned he was “out of this world nervous” Thursday morning as a result of it was a prime-time recreation and he didn’t wish to “mess up” on nationwide TV.
“I guess that was my body telling me we were about to go off,” Moore mentioned. “I look forward to having some more nervous days before games.”
And the Bears hope this efficiency will carry over into multiple win.
“Huge,” Kmet mentioned. “(Fields) doesn’t have to put it all on his back either. We’ve got guys. We’ve got DJ, myself, (Darnell Mooney), Khalil. We’ve got dudes that can seal the deal. I think he’s just gaining confidence in everybody and then obviously the scheme in place as well.”