Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season: Lessons from the Commanders’ victory over the Bears on Thursday

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Run-game commanders accomplish just enough. The Commanders coaches clearly trusted Brian Robinson Jr. for additional work on Thursday night after his nine-carry debut last week. Robinson got the ball on the game’s first two plays, started the game, and came on late to help Washington win 12-7. He carried the ball 17 times for a total of 60 yards, and midway through the third quarter, he scored the game-winning touchdown. Robinson didn’t have many long runs, but his 16-yard run just before the two-minute warning broke the Bears’ back. Above all, he displayed more burst than you might anticipate from a player who had been shot in the leg several times in late August. Terry McLaurin and J.D. McKissic both contributed a few strong runs, while Antonio Gibson made an unexpected appearance, carrying the ball four times for 32 yards, all in the third quarter, as Washington slogged to a road victory on a short week. It wasn’t attractive, but it worked. Bears’ issues in the red zone persist. The Bears were 2 for 2 in their chances in the red zone against the Vikings in Week 5, but they were 0 for 3 against the Giants in their five-point setback. On Thursday, the Bears matched the Giants’ lackluster performance, and Darnell Mooney’s fourth-down grab that was ruled down at the Washington 1-yard line brought the game to a close. It was a fitting conclusion for a team that is finding it difficult to score points in some quite original ways. The Bears’ first two drives were derailed by red-zone errors, one a pick and the other on downs. On Chicago’s second drive, Justin Fields’ helmet deflection-interception had a streak of poor luck, but did he really believe he could squeeze it through a narrow opening? The Bears drove to the one on the following Bears possession, and Fields’ mishandling of an open Ryan Griffin on second-and-goal was a far more heinous mistake than Khalil Herbert’s being stopped at the goal line on fourth down. The Bears failed to convert on a fourth-and-goal situation at the 1-yard line for the second time this season. Debate is deepened by Fields roller-coaster night. Fields made glaring errors in the early going. But so too were the Bears’ offensive flaws. Not including the 12 times he was hit while rushing, he was struck 12 times in the pocket, with five of those hits leading to sacks. Fields sat on the ground after several hard strikes and several of them caused him to wince. However, he also made errors with his throws and was once more at least partially at fault for holding onto the ball for too long. Fields is still currently a huge mystery that is also a mystery. His unusual ability to move is evident in his 39-yard scramble, which almost gave the Bears the victory. He also has good vertical throwing ability, as evidenced by his bomb to Dante Pettis. However, he still needs a lot of work to hone his skills as a quarterback; the way Chicago executed its penultimate drive is a fantastic example of this. But how can things go better when the offensive line can’t block and the receivers can’t consistently separate or catch? That is currently the Bears’ biggest issue. Carson Wentz cannot stop the Commanders from winning. Wentz and Fields, who are now the two quarterbacks in the NFL with the most sacks each, both have a propensity to draw foreigners. Again, the Rorschach test can be used to determine who is at fault: the offensive line or the quarterback. However, neither of these quarterbacks has what you’re searching for in a perfect pocket presence. It made sense to rely on the run game and sprinkle in a few high-percentage passes when the game started to go in Washington’s favor because it was functioning reasonably effectively. With the receivers they have and the money the Commanders spent to get Wentz, who went 12-of-20 for 99 yards in the victory, no one can honestly claim that this is the offensive strategy the team desired before the season. It is evident that Scott Turner and Ron Rivera, coaches who may be in a fight for their jobs, have very little faith left in them to order even somewhat risky throws in high-stakes circumstances. And we didn’t even need to hear Rivera’s remarks on Wentz from earlier in the week to understand that. We merely follow the games. For the Bears, Khalil Herbert has received more touches. Herbert was able to excel when David Montgomery missed the majority of Week 3 and all of Week 4. He ran for a total of 234 yards and two touchdowns, and he also caught all three passes that were thrown to him for an additional 36 yards. He received four carries the previous week against the Vikings. He had seven on Thursday, and one of them was for 64 yards. This is a request for Herbert to eat a wider variety of foods rather than for Montgomery to be given the initiative. If the Bears want it to be, this might be a partnership along the lines of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Once the offensive line is rebuilt, the Bears could really be difficult to defend given Fields’ rushing skills. The most unlikely completion in Justin Fields’ career thus far was his 40-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis, which was the game’s Next Gen stat.

NFL Research: Since the start of Thursday Night Football in 2006, Carson Wentz has won all seven of his games, improving his record to 7-0. 2-0 is the following-best win-loss streak.

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