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Thursday Night Football preview: Chicago Bears vs. Washington Commanders

Thursday Night Football for Week 5 features the 2-2 Washington Commanders hosting the 0-4 Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

It’s been a tough start to the NFL season for the Bears as they sit 0-4 going into this clash with a Washington side who are 2-2 going into this home game.

The Bears' last win in the NFL came in Week 7 of the 2022 season and it looks like Chicago’s wait for a W might have go on at least another week.

WhatChicago Bears @ Washington Commanders
WhereFedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
When8:15 PM ET, Thursday, October 5
How to watchAmazon Prime
OddsCommanders -6.0, Bears +220 ML

Washington seeking response

The season started brightly for the Commanders as the NFC East franchise picked up early wins over Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos.

A first defeat of the season was inflicted by the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field, with the Commanders going down 37-3.

Washington looked like they would respond against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles, as the Commanders led by 10 points at one stage at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philly came back to take the lead, before a Jahan Dotson touchdown on the final play of regulation to tie the scores.

Washington had the ball first in overtime, but a 54-yard field goal by the Eagles’ Jake Elliott saw the Commanders leave the Linc on the wrong end of a 34-31 scoreline.

After that heartbreaker, Washington should feel motivated this week against the 0-4 Bears.

Quarterback Sam Howell has looked solid in this early stage of the season, with four touchdown passes for 961 yards.

Showing ability under pressure late on against the Eagles will also stand the 23-year-old in good stead going forward.

The Commanders are favored by -6.

A long season in store for the Bears

With four defeats from four outings, the Bears' faint hopes for playoff football already seem to be fading.

Chicago find themselves rock bottom of the NFC North, with the Detroit Lions leading the way in the division after a 3-1 start.

When it comes to passing stats, Justin Fields has impressed with seven touchdown passes in four outings.

However, it’s the turnovers that have been killing the Bears and five interceptions thrown by Fields has hurt their cause.

The defensive line has plenty to answer for, as Fields has already been sacked an astonishing 17 times this season.

With such little protection, it’s easy to see why Fields has felt forced to throw the football at times. That’s where the interceptions have been coming from.

The Bears started the season with a 38-20 loss to NFC North rivals Green Bay Packers, before expected defeats on the road at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Chicago ran the Broncos close last time out, but still ended up on the wrong side of a 31-28 scoreline at Soldier Field.

Where might the points come from?

Looking at the touchdown markets, Washington’s Brian Robinson is the shortest price at -125 to score anytime against the Bears.

The Commanders' running back has notched up 261 yards this season and has three touchdowns to his name.

Robinson is +450 to score the first touchdown of the game, while Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin is +750 in the same market.

McLaurin has managed just the one touchdown this season, but he does seem to be the main outlet for Howell, with 21 receptions so far.

As for the Bears, if the offensive line can give Fields better protection, then they can be dangerous in the air even with star wideout Chase Claypool staying away from the team due to rumored issues with team leadership. DJ Moore, Cole Kmet, Equanimeous St. Brown, and maybe even 18-year NFL veteran Marcedes Lewis can pick up the slack.

Wide receiver Moore and tight end Kmet both have two touchdowns this season and are +225 and +300 respectively to score anytime on Thursday night in Maryland.

The issues for the Bears on the road might well be that lack of protection for Fields and their own issues on defense that have been well-documented for some time.

Chicago have already conceded 137 points this season at an average of 34.25 points a game.

Conceding that many points puts a lot of added pressure on the offense to get scores and there will be few quarterbacks in the NFL envious of Fields’ situation at present.

With home advantage and with Howell finding form, the Commanders should land their third win of the season on Thursday night.

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