LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins suffered a 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears at FedExField on Monday Night Football.
Turnovers doomed Washington in its Week 3 showdown. After a pair of turnover-free performances in losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, quarterback Case Keenum threw three interceptions -- one of which was returned for a touchdown by former Redskin Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to open the scoring in the first quarter. Keenum (30 of 43 for 331 yards) also fumbled three times (two lost) and took four sacks against a vaunted Chicago defense.
These miscues either resulted in points for the visitors or set them up with a short field against what has been a struggling Redskins defense so far in 2019. After scoring just 19 points in their first two contests, the Bears rattled off 28 in the opening two periods Monday night. The Redskins (0-3) countered with a single field goal and just 90 yards of total offense.
"We have to stick together, and that's all we can do," head coach Jay Gruden said after the defeat. "We just have to coach better, play better, be more balanced and protect the football."
For the game, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed 25 of his 31 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns compared to one interception. His favorite target was Taylor Gabriel, who scored three first-half touchdowns and finished with 75 yards receiving.
A significant reason for the Bears offensive outburst hinged on their immense success on third down. Coach Matt Nagy's team connected on seven of 10 of these plays. The Bears finished the game 8-for-13, meaning that through three games Redskins opponents are converting third downs at a 63.4% clip (26-for-41). The Redskins, meanwhile, finished 3-for-9 in this category Monday night.
Check out photos of the Washington Redskins warming up before their regular season Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears, presented by Bose.
The Redskins played much better in the second half. The defense allowed just three points, giving Keenum and company a small window to try and mount a comeback.
Offensively, veteran Paul Richardson led the Redskins with eight receptions for 83 yards, while 2019 third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin (six receptions for 70 yards) scored the team's first touchdown late in the third quarter. With the 15-yard score, McLaurin became the first Redskins rookie wideout to score in three consecutive games since Charlie Brown in 1982.
After a goal-line interception from corner Josh Norman on the Bears ensuing possession, Keenum orchestrated a 12-play, 97-yard drive that brought the Redskins within two possessions. Richardson caught a two-yard touchdown from Keenum on fourth down, cutting Chicago's lead to 28-15.
The Redskins subsequently forced a three-and-out -- giving the hosts the ball back with 11 minutes to play -- and then quickly drove into the red zone. But on the verge of climbing within six points, their game-long struggles resurfaced.
On 3rd-and-1, Adrian Peterson could not move the chains with a run up the middle. Keenum then tried to extend the drive himself by attempting to jump over the line, only to have the ball knocked out and recovered by the Bears.
It served as the Redskins' fifth giveaway of the game, and it all but eliminated any chance for them to salvage a rough opening half.
"We're not producing," Gruden said. "We're not playing good enough at home. We're not giving these guys a reason to use this home-field advantage. That's the most disappointing thing because we have great home-field advantage when it's rocking and we're in the game. Third downs are more difficult for the opposing team. Our players get more into the game.
"We just haven't been able to get any momentum in the last home games. In the fourth quarter late and trying to make a comeback, we fumbled. Something has to be done, we have to do a better job at home."