4 matchups to watch as the Chicago Bears take on the Washington Commanders in Week 5

The Bears and Commanders will both try to rebound from crushing losses in Week 4.
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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The Chicago Bears lost a heartbreaker on Sunday, but there's no time to wallow in self-pity, as a Thursday game with the Washington Commanders awaits.

The Commanders are fresh off a close loss of their own, but whereas the Bears blew a 21-point lead, Washington came back on the defending NFC champion Eagles to force overtime and nearly spoil Philly's unblemished record. Suffice it to say, at 2-2 through the season's first month, the team from our nation's capital is feeling a lot better about themselves than their Windy City counterparts.

The Bears have now lost 14 straight games dating back to last year, and Matt Eberflus' hot seat is reaching its melting point. For cynical Bears fans (hint: that's all of us by now), having a short week can be seen as an advantage, because while the Bears usually look unprepared even on a full week of rest, at least Ron Rivera and the Commanders only have a few days to install a gameplan of their own. Can the Bears finally get in the win column? Here are the key storylines.

Washington's offensive line vs. the Chicago Bears defensive line

Let's start with the resistible force versus the movable object. Washington's offensive line has failed to protect Sam Howell this year, allowing 24 sacks in four games. Even after the Giants allowed 11 sacks against the Seahawks on Monday night, that's still the highest total in the league.

Can the Bears take advantage of this? It will be fascinating to find out. Chicago has sacked the opposing quarterback only twice through four games, a number that is on pace to be the lowest in NFL history.

Russell Wilson has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the last ten years, and yet the Bears managed to bring him down only once on Sunday. Washington can't block anyone, but it might not matter.

The Bears have only blitzed on 18.7% of their plays this year, the sixth-lowest percentage in the league. Will Matt Eberflus raise that number to try and exploit right tackle Andrew Wylie and the Commanders' lackluster line?

Washington's offense and Chicago's defense have actually both been solid in the run game. Halfback Brian Robinson, Jr., now over a year removed from a gunshot injury that cost him time last season, has looked like a true feature back in rushing for 261 yards and three touchdowns on 4.3 yards per carry. The Bears, meanwhile, have only allowed 3.8 yards per rush, good for 10th in the league. DeMarcus Walker has stepped up recently in that department, as has T.J. Edwards.

The Bears need to do more than just stop the run though, and that starts with getting pressure on the quarterback. Thursday's game might be their best chance.