Reflecting on a game that at times seemed as if neither team wanted to win, cornerback D.J. Moore said it felt as if he were playing in a game of Madden.
"It got crazy out there, man," Moore said. "Players were flying all over the place. The ball went here. It went here. There were fumbles. There were recoveries. You never knew from play to play exactly what was going to happen."
But when the madness finally came to a close, the Bears lost their second straight game at home, dropping a 17-14 decision to the visiting Redskins.
Moore made something very good happen with 6:16 to go in the first quarter, when he came on a blitz from his nickel back spot and then dove under a Donovan McNabb pass that had been tipped at the Bears' 46 by Israel Idonije. Moore came up with the ball, got to his feet and sprinted 54 yards for a touchdown.
"It was great," Moore said. "I thought I had a good shot at it when I saw the ball flying through the air in my vicinity. I did sort of a lateral leap and was able to grab it. I turned downfield, and the route was pretty clear most of the way to the end zone. There were some great blocks by my teammates to get me all the way there, but you can be sure that I am the one who is going to be keeping that ball."
It was the Bears' first score of the game and a play that energized both the team and the fans. Washington countered quickly, however, with a 9-play, 72-yard drive that resulted in a 7-7 tie with 1:14 in the first.
"I was sure we could come right back from that," Moore said. "The Redskins got a field goal, then we countered when [Johnny] Knox caught the pass for the TD. We went into the locker room with the lead."
In the third quarter, Moore got one more McNabb interception and again sprinted to the goal line, but the play was called back due to a delay-of-game penalty on the Redskins and the score was disallowed. Washington kept the ball.
Moore was disappointed yet optimistic that his chance would come again.
"The way things had been going, I was pretty sure I'd get a deflection or a fumble, something, and that I could make something good happen," he said. "I mean, heck, they fumbled six times during the game. Or even if it was a ball that I personally couldn't grab and return, I was sure one of our defenders would get that opportunity."
But by the end of the third quarter, Washington was leading the Bears by a score of 17-14 after a spectacular interception and 92-yard return by DeAngelo Hall. That ended the scoring, and the Bears lost by a narrow margin for the third time in four weeks.
"Was it discouraging? No. I'd say it was more frustrating than anything else," Moore said. "We got the interceptions. We recovered fumbles. Takeaways and turnovers is our goal overall, and we definitely achieved that. But we still didn't come away with the win. We were so close to closing this one out."
After the game, Moore preferred to look at the Bears' season as a whole rather than dwell on the recent losses. The upcoming bye in Week 8 should help, too.
"I'm not a pessimistic person," he said. "I don't see the losses as a trend we need to turn around. I think we are there in terms of being a strong team and that good things will happen. During bye week, I'd much rather reflect on our overall winning record than worry about this game. Last time I looked, our team was leading the division. That's something to be proud of. I know there's a lot written in the media that would suggest otherwise, but this is a strong, confident team. I feel we'll really come back and move forward on the positives."
A week off seems tailor made for most of the players right about now.
"We're sore, we're tired," admitted Moore. "It's fine with us to get a short time to rest."
But for Moore and his teammates, the upcoming week will be filled with practice and game films to prepare for the Bills on November 7. What's he going to do to relax?
"Watch football, of course," he said. "Don't laugh. It's important. I'll get the chance to see some of my friends who are in the NFL if their games are televised here, and I'll also have the opportunity to check out some of our upcoming opponents. At my position, it's all anticipation and being one step ahead of your opponent mentally. That means homework. You can't anticipate a player's moves until you've studied him and watched him play. Makes sense to me."
Anything else planned for the break?
"Well, I might just sit on my couch and play Madden football," said Moore. "After today's game, I feel that I have a head start already in doing that."
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Beth Gorr has been covering the Chicago Bears for 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.
Moore One of the Few Highlights
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