‘The stars aligned’: DJ Moore explodes for 3 touchdowns as the Chicago Bears — at long last — end their lengthy losing streak

Chicago Bears receiver DJ Moore was solely 3 minutes into his postgame information convention Thursday night time when his cellphone started buzzing. His fiancee was calling, presumably to catch up and speak a little bit bit about how his night time had gone.

Moore wasn’t about to depart her hanging. So from a lectern within the customer’s media room at Fed Ex Field, he put a reporter’s query on maintain and answered his cellphone.

“Hey, I’m in media,” he mentioned. “Yeah.”

Then a pause.

“(It’ll be) probably about 5 minutes. Bye.”

To be honest, Moore might have spoken to reporters for an additional 25 minutes and never run out of issues to speak about. Not after the night time he had, the eight-catch, 230-yard, three-touchdown explosion that, in the end, introduced an finish to the Bears’ 14-game shedding streak.

Moore and his teammates felt a euphoric mixture of reduction, satisfaction and pleasure after the Bears pounded the Washington Commanders 40-20 on the brightly-lit “Thursday Night Football” stage. And Moore’s message inside a jubilant, music-pumping locker room was direct.

“Just never lose this feeling,” he mentioned. “Let’s just not lose that feeling of what we walked into.”

The message in return from Moore’s teammates? Thanks one million, man. Thanks for the contributions. Thanks for the constructive mojo and for propelling a much-needed victory.

Thanks for the three scores and people 5 receptions for not less than 20 yards.

“He showed out tonight,” quarterback Justin Fields mentioned.

Added fellow receiver Darnell Mooney: “DJ had a freakin’ crazy game.”

Thanks for the second-greatest single-game yardage output by a Bears receiver in historical past. (Only Alshon Jeffery — with 249 yards in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 — has ever had extra.)

“DJ’s doing some special things,” tight finish Cole Kmet mentioned.

Fittingly, Moore’s profession night time was bookended by a pair of catches with main significance. His first seize got here on the opening drive, on third-and-9 from the Bears 26-yard line. That’s when Moore put a double transfer on cornerback Benjamin St-Juste and broke release the left sideline.

Quarterback Justin Fields couldn’t imagine his eyes when he noticed Moore dealing with press man protection in opposition to a single-high security look. Fields wanted stable safety, in fact. And he wanted to make throw. But with the separation Moore created in opposition to St-Juste?

“Wide open,” Fields mentioned. “You definitely need time on that for the route to develop. So we had great protection. And of course, he rode off the corner at the top (of the route). That made my job easy.”

It was a giant play that offered a giant power surge early, the Bears’ longest acquire on an evening wherein they racked up 451 whole yards. It led to a primary sequence landing by — who else? — Moore throughout a primary half wherein the Bears scored on all 5 of their possessions to open up a 27-3 lead.

Moore’s closing catch was extra significant, that one for 56 yards and once more on third down late within the sport. This time, with the Bears clinging to a 30-20 lead with 4:18 remaining, they went away from a conservative method and trusted Fields and Moore to do their factor.

Fields threw shortly to the left and 5 yards past the sticks. But for a breath or two, it appeared like Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller would possibly bounce the route.

“I thought it was going to be an interception,” Mooney mentioned. “Crazy catch. Good concentration.”

Added Moore: “Justin put it in a good spot. He threw it out where only I could catch it. And it was off to the races.”

Once the ball was in Moore’s palms, the sport was over. Off he went on a dash down the sideline and into the east finish zone at Fed Ex Field for a landing that gave the Bears a 17-point lead and appeared to obliterate each final demon from the workforce’s 347-day stretch and not using a victory.

Moore had just one factor on his thoughts.

“Run fast and score,” he mentioned. “Have fun with it. But score.”

Man, did that sprint with the ball in his palms really feel good. For everyone.

On an evening the place Fields had his second consecutive outing with 4 landing passes, Moore was the star. Of Fields’ 282 passing yards, 82% of them went to his favourite receiver.

“They left him one-on-one more times than I thought they would tonight,” Fields mentioned. “When you see you always have him one-on-one, you know he’s going to win 95% of the time.”

Oddly, Moore mentioned he was bowled over by how anxious he felt Thursday morning.

“Out-of-this-world nervous,” he mentioned. “I guess that was my body telling me we were about to go off. So I look forward to having some more nervous days (soon).”

Moore’s first landing on the opening drive got here on third-and-14. He scored once more within the second quarter on an 11-yard dart from Fields within the again nook of the tip zone with Fuller in tight protection.

Moore virtually had his TD hat trick a lot earlier when he caught a brief hitch route and once more broke into the clear for what appeared like it could be a 63-yard rating within the third quarter. But the officers dominated, controversially, that he had stepped out of bounds on the Commanders 31.

“That really pissed me off,” Moore mentioned. “I was about to score. I could have had four touchdowns.”

That’s precisely the aggressive power the Bears want to heighten.

“He uplifts everybody,” coach Matt Eberflus mentioned.

There was a lot to like concerning the Bears’ first victory of the season and the primary since Oct. 24, 2022. Against a tenacious defensive entrance, the offensive line held up nicely. Thanks to an interception from Greg Stroman Jr. and a compelled fumble and restoration from Terell Smith, the Bears additionally gained the turnover battle 2-0.

They withstood the absences of defensive backs Jaylon Johnson and Eddie Jackson — each inactive Thursday night time — then weathered an avalanche of in-game accidents that took heart Lucas Patrick, working backs Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer, and receiver Equanimeous St. Brown out of motion.

There was a toughness wanted for the Bears to place the ending touches on a powerful street victory. That added to the satisfaction.

“That feeling we had after the game is just a feeling where you never want it to end,” Fields mentioned.

Still, it was Moore’s explosive night time that ignited the present. His earlier career-high for receiving yards in a sport was 157 in opposition to the Detroit Lions when he was a rookie with the Carolina Panthers in 2018. Thursday’s efficiency blew that away.

“It was just fun,” Moore mentioned. “Football is fun. We’re out there playing a kid’s game at the end of the day. I just looked at it that way. Tonight, the stars aligned.”