Redskins Outlast Bears, 45-41
RG3 Leads Shootout Win
Stacy M. Brown | 10/20/2013, 5:35 p.m.
Jordan Reed caught nine passes for 134 yards, including a touchdown to help lead the Washington Redskins to a wild 45-41 victory over the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sunday, Oct. 20.
The win boosted the Skins record to 2-4 and revived a season that appeared on the brink of disaster, just one week after a 31-16 thrashing at the hands of division rival, Dallas Cowboys.
“We’re back in the playoff hunt,” said Evan Dorsey, a longtime Skins fan who lives in Southeast. “This was close and Chicago is a great team, but we were able to pull it out in the end,” said Dorsey, 42.
Alfred Morris ran for 95 yards, including a 21-yard dash that put the Skins in scoring position, leading to seven of the 45 points.
Bears star quarterback Jay Cutler suffered an injury after being sacked early in the second quarter by nose tackle Chris Baker, forcing Cutler out of the game.
Although the win came against the Bears’ backup quarterback and with many of Chicago’s top defenders hurting, it still counted as a breakout performance by running back Roy Helu, who scored a career-high three touchdowns on just 11 carries, including the game winner with 45 seconds left.
For the most part, quarterback Robert Griffin III also played well, completing 18 of 29 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns. Although he threw an interception, Griffin rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries, mystifying a bruised Bears defense.
After falling behind late, Griffin led the winning drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Helu. The young quarterback set up the touchdown with a 10-yard pass completion to Reed on third-and-four from the 13-yard line. Earlier in the drive, Griffin converted on third down with a 7-yard pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon.
“We will take a win anyway we can get it,” said Abigail Dorsey, who counted among the more than 82,000 who attended the game. “It proves that we’re not dead yet and it proves that we still have one of the best quarterbacks in all of football,” said Dorsey, 39.
While not the prettiest of victories, those around the National Football League may have noticed that Griffin seems to have fully recovered from the devastating injury he suffered during a playoff game against Seattle last year.
“I think the mental part of it that I [got over] was not thinking out on the field, just reacting,” said Griffin, 23.
Griffin said the team still has a lot to improve on and next week will present the biggest challenge yet, a date against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colo.
“When we watch the film, we won’t watch it with smiles on our faces,” Griffin said. “But, I think we made enough plays to win the game [against the Bears], and that’s all that matters.”
He said the Redskins were prepared for the challenge against the mighty Bears, also known as the Monsters of the Midway.
“I just felt like we were in sync. We all refer to last year, even [me], the coaches, the media, because last year was a great year for us offensively,” Griffin said.
The win moved the Redskins to just one game back in the loss column of the 4-3 Cowboys, who defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-3 on Sunday, Oct. 20. A win against the Broncos coupled with a Cowboys loss to the Lions at Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 27, would pull the Redskins, the defending division champions, even in the loss column just one-half game out of first place.
“Every game is big, but we sure needed the win against the Bears after being 1-4,” head coach Mike Shanahan said.
“You don’t want to dig yourself a bigger hole. (Griffin) made some big plays and he was able to run the ball. He competed in the running game and made some big time throws on the run,” Shanahan said. “He led us on a great drive, a final drive, to put us in the end zone. Now, it’s on to Denver, who has an excellent football team.”