With Monday's game against the Dallas Cowboys officially a thing of the past, the Washington Redskins set their focus to their NFC North foe, the Chicago Bears. With Monday's primetime matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in the rear-view mirror, the Washington Redskins face a short week to prepare for an NFC opponent to the north.
The Washington Redskins hosted the Chicago Bears at FedExField for Week-7 action in the 2013 season.
The Redskins next Sunday travel to Chicago to take on the Bears at Soldier Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
The Bears enter the matchup with a 5-7 record, good enough for third place in the NFC Northern Division, and are coming off a 26-20 home overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Chicago has displayed much improvement since opening the season with three straight losses to the Green Bay Packers (31-23), Arizona Cardinals (48-23) and Seattle Seahawks (26-0), going 5-4 since that Seahawks loss, and losing over that span by an average margin of just 3.5 points per game.
The Bears are led by first-year head coach John Fox. Hired Jan. 16, Fox, 60, has compiled a 124-96 (.563) overall head coaching record with the Bears, the Denver Broncos (2011-14) and the Carolina Panthers (2002-10), with six division titles, six double-digit win seasons and seven playoff experiences under his belt.
Fox is also one of six head coaches in league history to lead two different franchises to the Super Bowl (Carolina in 2003 and Denver in 2013), joining Don Shula, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Dick Vermeil and Mike Holmgren.
The Bears will enter next Sunday's matchup against the Redskins off the heels of a deflating 26-20 overtime loss to the 49ers in Chicago. In that game, the Bears took a 20-13 lead with 3:32 left in the regulation only to allow San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert scramble untouched up the middle for a 44-yard, game-tying touchdown with 1:42 left on the ensuing possession.
Chicago kicker Robbie Gould missed a 36-yard field goal attempt wide left as time expired to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Bears forced a San Francisco punt on its opening possession, but went three-and-out themselves before allowing a game-winning, 71-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to Torrey Smith.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed 18-of-31 passes for 202 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in the loss, while running back Matt Forte had 21 rushes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Alshon Jeffery led the receivers with four receptions for 85 yards on the day.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman led the Chicago defense with two sacks on the day, followed closely by 1.5 sacks from linebacker Willie Young. Linebacker Shea McClellin had nine total tackles to pace the Bears. Gould, meanwhile, would convert just 2-of-4 field goal attempts on the day, missing the 36 yarder at the end of regulation, as well as a 40-yard attempt in the third quarter.
The Bears entered Monday's action ranked 19th in the league in total offense with 347.9 yards per game. Their 115.7 rushing yards per game rank 11th in the NFL.
Chicago is slightly better on the defensive side of the ball, though the numbers are somewhat skewed. Their 338.8 yards allowed per game ranks 12th in the league, but they are terrific at stopping the pass – their 210.8 passing yards allowed per game ranks second in the NFL – but their 127.9 rushing yards allowed game ranks 29th.
Through 12 games, Cutler has completed 229-of-365 passes (62.7 percent) for 2,712 yards with 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He has been sacked 20 times, good enough for a tie for seventh-fewest in the league.
Forte has 172 rushes for 676 yards (3.9 yards per run) with three touchdowns, while Jeremy Langford has 102 rushes for 357 yards (3.5 yards per attempt) with a team-best six scores. Tight end Martellus Bennett leads the Bears with 53 receptions, with 439 yards and a team-best three receiving touchdowns. Jeffery has 47 total receptions for a team-best 690 yards with two touchdowns.
Linebacker Christian Jones leads the Bears with 69 total tackles. He also has three passes defensed and a fumble recovery on the year. Defensive end Pernell McPhee and linebacker Lamarr Houston each have a team-best five sacks.
Here's some more facts and figures from next Sunday's Redskins-Bears matchup in Chicago, courtesy of Redskins Public Relations:
- The Redskins are 24-23-1 all-time against the Bears, including postseason play.
- The Redskins will attempt to even their all-time road record against the Bears at 11-11, including postseason play.
- The Redskins are currently riding a five-game winning streak against the Bears, including a 45-41 victory in the teams' last meeting on Oct. 20, 2013. The five-game unbeaten run is the Redskins' longest active streak against any opponent.
- The Redskins have won six of their last seven road games in Chicago.
- During the Redskins' last visit to Soldier Field, a 17-14 victory in 2010, cornerback DeAngelo Hall tied an NFL record with four interceptions, returning one 92 yards for a touchdown.