Justin Fields connected with DJ Moore for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and the embattled Chicago Bears picked up their first win of the season, beating the Washington Commanders 40-20 Thursday night, hours after word emerged of the death of franchise great Dick Butkus.
The Bears snapped a 14-game skid dating to last season. It’s their first victory since 24 October 2022, and it came with a receiver in exile, their defensive coordinator gone and in the aftermath of blowing a 21-point lead last week.
None of that mattered in the moment. Fields had four touchdown passes to match his career high set last week, this time coming in a winning effort as Chicago (1-4) temporarily put all the off-field drama aside.
Fields threw for 282 yards and ran for 57 yards, including a rush for a first down late in the third quarter after tipping the ball to himself following a high snap. Moore had 137 yards receiving in the first half alone, becoming the first Bears player to surpass 125 before halftime since at least 2000, and finished with eight catches.
It was such an impressive showing that it got the attention of LeBron James, who posted on social media: “J Fields and DJ Moore going crazy right now!!! SHEESH!!”
The Bears also got a defensive performance that felt like a fitting way to honor Butkus, the fearsome Hall of Fame linebacker who died at age 80 earlier Thursday. They forced two turnovers and sacked Sam Howell five times in bouncing back from a bad loss to Denver.
Washington (2-3) lost a third consecutive game, this time struggling with missed tackles and blown coverage on defense, while again failing to force a turnover. Couple that with Howell’s interception, and there was a reason the Commanders were booed off the field at halftime by fans who again packed FedEx Field for another sellout.
Their second-half comeback bid fell short, stunted by Logan Thomas fumbling, a later drive stalling in the red zone and Joey Slye missing a 46-yard field goal attempt with five minutes left. Washington got as close as 10 points, but couldn’t end their losing streak and keep Chicago’s going.