NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 5 Game Recap: Chicago Bears 40, Washington Commanders 20

2T0C1T5 Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throwing ball against Chicago Bears defensive end Khalid Kareem (52) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

The Chicago Bears — the once 0-4 team widely expected to secure the first two picks of the 2024 NFL Draft — got their first win in almost a year on Thursday, embarrassing the Washington Commanders 40-20 in front of a shell-shocked crowd in Landover, Md.

The Bears cut through the Commanders defense like a hot knife through butter in the first half, with wide receiver D.J. Moore catching all five of his first-half targets for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Khalil Herbert added 76 yards on nine carries on top of that, sprinkling salt into wounds the Commanders never would have expected to suffer during the first 30 minutes of the game.

Moore added 93 receiving yards and another score in the second half to put the game away.

The Commanders have only themselves to blame. They made several coverage mistakes that led to big plays in the first quarter, and they averaged just 4.0 yards per play over the first 30 minutes of the game.

Editor's note: All PFF grades and advanced stats will be reviewed and finalized by 12 p.m. E.T. Friday, Oct. 6.

Offensive spotlight: Quarterback Justin Fields silenced the noise that has surrounded him and his team for most of this season, at least for now. Fields went 15-of-29 for 282 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a 69.8 passing grade on first review. He was exceptional in the quick game, completing nine of his 11 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns when he took less than 2.5 seconds to throw. 

As impressive as Fields' performance was, this night belongs to D.J. Moore. The first-year Bear finished the game with eight catches for a career-best 230 receiving yards and three touchdowns. More impressively, 141 of those receiving yards came after the catch, with the Bears receiver averaging 17.6 yards after the catch per reception on the night.

PFF Premium Stats is LIVE! Get live advanced stats and first-run grades for every Week 5 game by subscribing to PFF+

Defensive spotlight: The Bears entered this game without any kind of depth in the secondary, but fifth-round cornerback Terell Smith stepped up in a big way. Smith allowed four catches from five targets, but they went for a grand total of 28 yards. He produced two defensive stops on the day, the best of which was a forced fumble that he recovered to stop a Commanders second-half comeback attempt dead in its tracks.

PFF Premium Stats is LIVE! Get live advanced stats and first-run grades for every Week 5 game by subscribing to PFF+

Rookie spotlight: A triumphant night for one rookie cornerback was a nightmare for another. Commanders first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes allowed three catches for 76 yards and was benched in the second quarter for trying — and failing — to break on a D.J. Moore hitch route, which Moore gratefully then took for 32 yards. 

PFF Premium Stats is LIVE! Get live advanced stats and first-run grades for every Week 5 game by subscribing to PFF+

Subscriptions

Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
OR
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit