Thursday Night Football Preview: Chicago Bears vs Washington Commanders

The 2-3 Chicago Bears will host the 1-4 Washington Commanders in Week 5 on Thursday Night Football. The once proud franchises have stumbled out the gate in the 2022 regular season, with the Bears coming off a close call against their division rival Minnesota Vikings, and the Commanders trying to stay alive in an ultra-competitive NFC East. The Commanders are 1.0-point favorites to go on the road and steal a victory. The Bears' offense has gotten off to a rough start through five weeks, ranking 27th in scoring and 31st in yards gained. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields has struggled, taking 18 sacks and leading the Bears to a league-worst 583 net passing yards. Despite his ineffectiveness through the air, his mobility has helped the team cobble together an effective rushing game: the team has tallied 787 yards at 4.9 yards per attempt. However, if the Bears are going to commit to Fields as a franchise passer beyond this year, they'll need efficiency from his arm and not just his legs.

Meanwhile, the Bears' defense has been largely mediocre, allowing the 15th fewest points in the league and the 11th most yards. If they have a strength, it's their pass defense. The team has allowed the ninth fewest pass yards in the league while nabbing five interceptions. Even that unit isn't without its weaknesses: they've notched a mere eight sacks through five weeks, tied for the third fewest in the league. The Commanders' offense has fared a little bit better than the Bears', but not by much. They've stumbled since the season opener, scoring 15.5 points per game in their four straight losses. Five weeks into the season, the Carson Wentz experiment already appears doomed: the young quarterback has been hopeless, taking 20 sacks and tossing a league-leading six interceptions. The run game hasn't fared much better, ranking 28th in rushing yards and 27th in yards per attempt. Barring a shocking turnaround, Wentz may be looking for his fourth team in as many years in 2023.

The Commanders' defense hasn't brought much to the table either, ranking 25th in scoring and 17th in yards allowed. Their front seven has been fairly stout, notching 14 sacks and allowing 4.2 rushing yards per attempt, but it hasn't helped their pass defense overall. The Commanders rank 23rd in net yards allowed per passing attempt, and their 103.7 passer rating allowed is the sixth worst in the league.

The Washington Commanders visit the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football in Week 6.

Photo Credit: © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports