It’s Week 16 of the NFL season and the Chicago Bears are preparing for their final home game of the year.
Chicago enters the game at 3-11 on the season, with all of their wins coming at home this year. But on Saturday, they will try to do something they haven’t done since 2003: beat the Washington Redskins.
The Bears will play the Redskins at Soldier Field for the second straight year. In 2015, the Redskins beat the Bears 24-21 in a big game for both teams late in the season.
The loss marked the sixth straight for the Bears to the Redskins, dating back to the 2004 season. Chicago’s last win over the Redskins came in 2003 when they won 27-24.
That’s the third-longest drought for the Bears against any NFL team. They’ve never beaten the Houston Texans in four tries and haven’t beaten the New England Patriots since 2000.
Chicago’s struggles against the Redskins at home are eye-opening as well. They have won just once at home against the Redskins since 1980.
Streaks in the Bears-Redskins all-time series have been common. Washington won six in a row from 1988-97, before the Bears finally won again in 1999. Chicago had a six-game win streak of their own in the series, beating Washington from 1946-53.
While the Bears have pride to play for, the Redskins are competing for their playoff life.
After a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, the Redskins face a must-win. The Bears could not only end the Redskins season on Saturday but also end a losing streak of their own.
Other stats of note
- Chicago’s front seven has piled up the sack numbers the last few weeks of the season. In their last three games, the Bears have racked up 13 sacks. That moves their total to 37, which is the fourth-most in the league. They trail only Denver (40), Carolina (40) and Buffalo (38).
- Quarterback Matt Barkley completed 30-of-43 attempts in Week 15 for 362 yards and two touchdowns. His 362 passing yards are the most by a Bears quarterback against the Packers in franchise history.
- For the first time since 1998, the Bears did not have a player selected to the initial Pro Bowl roster. Chicago is one of six teams without a player, although that could change due to injuries and players withdrawing.
- Chicago has dealt with several injuries this season, placing 19 players on injured reserve. Their 2016 rookie class has had to step in and it’s shown. Bears rookies have played a combined 3,736 snaps. That’s second-most in the NFL.
- The last time the Bears played on Christmas Eve was in 2006. Chicago beat Detroit on the road 26-21 to move to 13-2 on the year. They would later advance to Super Bowl XLI.
- Chicago’s offense has seen a boost in numbers the last few weeks. The Bears are averaging 5.9 yards per offensive play this season. That ranks fifth-best in the NFL and tied with the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.
- Punter Pat O’Donnell has had nine of his punts downed inside the 10-yard-line. That’s tied for eighth-most in the NFL this season.
- The Bears are ranked 31st in the NFL on fourth-down conversions. Through 14 games, the Bears have converted just 2-of-11.
- Redskins’ tight end Jordan Reed has had some big games against the Bears in his career. In two meetings, Reed has 18 receptions on 18 targets for 234 yards and two touchdowns.