Chicago Bears Gameday: 3 Keys to victory over the Washington Commanders

Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus
Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears need to allow fewer than 25 points on defense

Dating back to last season, the Bears have lost 14 consecutive games, and while the offense has shown flashes of life over that span, the defense has struggled to prevent their opponents from scoring. In all 14 losses, the Bears have allowed 25 or more points, an NFL record, while allowing 31 or more points in eight of those contests.

Through four weeks, the Bears are 31st in scoring defense, allowing nearly five touchdowns per game (the only team with a worse average, the Broncos, allowed 98 points in their previous two games and have allowed just two more points per game than the Bears). The defense is perhaps at its worst in the red zone, where they allow an 80% touchdown conversation ratio, the third-worst rate in the league.

Sophomore quarterback Sam Howell leads a talented offensive group that has several great skill position players, including star receiver Terry McLaurin, 2022 first-rounder Jahan Dotson, and Brian Robinson, who currently has the seventh most rushing touchdowns amongst running backs. Led by former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who would be an interesting potential head coach for the Bears, the Commanders' offense has scored 30 or more points in two of their games, including a 31-point total during their week four overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Chicago Bears, Elijah Hicks
Chicago Bears, Elijah Hicks / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

If the Bears want to earn their first win in nearly a calendar year, preventing touchdowns, especially in the red zone, will be essential to stifling a Commanders' offense that has had a great amount of success early in the season. Unfortunately, this task is made harder by injuries in the secondary, and with Jaylon Johnson and Eddie Jackson both missing their second consecutive game, the play of backups Terrell Smith and Elijah Hicks, who both played throughout the Broncos game, will be crucial to the defense's success.