Following the lead of the offense, the Chicago defense proved equally tough in desperate situations and allowed the Redskins a season-low one third-down conversion out of nine attempts (11 percent).
CHICAGO CENTURIONS: Defensive end Phillip Daniels, owning 58 starts in his four years with Chicago and 41 in four years with Seattle, is slated start his 100th career game in Kansas City on Sunday. Daniels would be the third Bears player to start his 100th career game this season following RG Chris Villarrial and DT Keith Traylor. Traylor, who has made 39 starts with Chicago, made his 100th career start (1 with KC, 66 with DEN) on Sept. 29 vs. Green Bay. Villarrial, the only one of the three to start all 100 games with Chicago, started his 100th career game as a Bear at New Orleans on Oct. 12. The next closest players to Villarrial in terms of starts in a Chicago uniform are defensive tackle Bryan Robinson with 81 Bear starts since 1998, center Olin Kreutz with 70 also since 1998, free safety Mike Brown with 62 since 2000 and middle linebacker Brian Urlacher with 61 since 2000. Fullback Stanley Pritchett has only played in 38 games with the Bears, but played in his 100th career game (52 with MIA, 16 with PHI) on Nov. 9 at Detroit while making his 50th career start.
PRITCH-ING IN: Chicago fullback Stanley Pritchett was one of the team's unsung heroes on Sunday, setting a personal best for his Bears career with 53 combined yards from scrimmage. From his days with Miami (1996-99), Pritchett owns a career-high rushing day of 68 yards (at NYJ, 12/12/99) and a career-high receiving day of 77 yards (vs. NE, 9/1/96). Pritchett totaled a Bears career-high 39 receiving yards on four catches vs. Philadelphia last Nov. 3, but his 20 receiving yards (two catches) and 33 rushing yards (five carries) stand as his highest combined yardage total during his three years in Chicago. His season-high 18-yard run in the third quarter got the Bears into Redskins territory en route to their first of two touchdowns that quarter.
OVER 40 CLUB: Chicago's receiving quartet of tight end Desmond Clark (42 catches) and wide receivers Dez White (49), Marty Booker (46) and David Terrell (41) gives the team four players with 40 or more catches in the same season for the first time since 1999. In that inaugural season of Bears head coach Dick Jauron, Chicago had three passers top 1,000 passing yards on the season as it took Shane Matthews (1,645), Cade McNown (1,465) and Jim Miller (1,242) to get 88 receptions for Bobby Engram, 84 to Marcus Robinson, 45 to Curtis Enis and 44 to Curtis Conway. Booker had 19 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns with the Bears that season, one season before White joined the squad. While Chicago has accomplished the feat of four 40-catch men on the same team in three of the last seven years (1997, 1999, 2003), it is a feat that the franchise has achieved only one other time since 1965 (1983).
TACKLE BY URLACHER: For the ninth time in 15 games this season, LB Brian Urlacher led the Bears in tackles with 10 (eight solos, including one TFL) against Washington to increase his team-leading total to 146 for the season. With 146 tackles on the campaign, Urlacher is three tackles away from posting the third-highest tackle total of his career after notching a career-high and team-record 214 last season. Urlacher has topped 100 tackles in each of his four seasons in the NFL and also leads the team in total tackles, solo tackles (106) and tackles for loss (10). Urlacher has held at least a share of the team tackle lead in 31 of Chicago's last 41 games, including 14 of 16 in 2002.
IN THE ZOOM LENS: Bears kickoff returner Jerry Azumah maintained his position as the NFL leader in kickoff return average despite seeing his season average dip below 30.0.for the first time since heading into the Nov. 2 game vs. San Diego. Azumah's average fell to 29.2 after being limited to a 17.3-yard average on three returns as Washington continued the trend of kicking short and away from the first-time Pro Bowler. With touchdowns on kickoff returns of 89 and 88 yards this season, Azumah remains the lone NFC kickoff returner to score twice this year while Kansas City's Dante' Hall has accomplished the same feat in the AFC this year. Following his two TDs, his 51-yarder at Denver stands as his third-longest of the season. Prior to this season, Azumah's only NFL return experience came in 2001 when he returned four kickoffs for a 16.3-yard avg. with a long of 23.
UP NEXT -- 2004 SCHEDULE: The Bears will be waiting until mid-April to receive the layout of their 2004 NFL schedule but enter the offseason with trips to Dallas, the New York Giants, Jacksonville and Tennessee planned along with their NFC North opponents.
Chicago will host Philadelphia, Washington, Houston and Indianapolis in addition to their divisional opponents. The Bears will travel to either New Orleans or Tampa and host either Seattle or San Francisco depending on how the 2003 standings end up.