JC's Game Blog: Bears vs. Redskins

Be sure to refresh this live blog every now and then for all the goings on Thursday evening at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. From the field to the sideline to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're a part of the game.

Inactive today for the Bears are LB Darrell McClover, OG Josh Beekman, WR Mike Hass, CB Nathan Vasher, DT Anthony Adams, and LB Nick Roach. Kyle Orton will serve as the third quarterback again. As for the Redskins, WR Jimmy Farris, CB David Macklin, TE Brian Kozlowski, LB Randall Godfrey, OT Todd Wade, DT Ryan Boschetti, and WR James Thrash will sit this one out. Mark Brunell is the No. 3 QB. Trumaine McBride once again gets the start for Vasher at right cornerback, Darwin Walker steps in for Adams at nose tackle, and Fred Miller reclaims his starting job at right tackle as John St. Clair heads back to the bench ...

The Bears have won the toss and elected to receive …

Rex Grossman and Co. open the game in the no-huddle offense, and look for a lot more of this hurry-up approach than they showed last week. After Grossman calls an early timeout before a 3rd-and-9 call, he can't connect with Bernard Berrian on a quick slant that probably would have come up a yard or two short anyway. Brad Maynard punts the ball away, although just barely as Rock Cartwright nearly blocked it …

That was a very quick three-and-out for Washington on its first possession. Devin Hester forces another directional punt out of bounds from an opponent, giving his offense good field position once again at the 39-yard line. Neither of these offenses would be called explosive on any level, so expect special teams to play a huge role in this game – especially on a cold night like this one …

There's one of the dangers of having Hester on offense, as he and Grossman aren't on the same page right there. Hester was sprinting down the right sideline on a fly pattern, but Grossman threw the quick out instead. Grossman is still on the turf, and the JumboTron here at FedEx Field indicates that he may have injured his left knee on the play …

Grossman limps back to the sideline, and Brian Griese is forced into the huddle on 3rd-and-10. Nothing happening on the middle screen to Adrian Peterson, as Maynard will punt the ball away for a second time already. This effort is much better than his first, rolling dead at the Washington 8-yard line …

Now the Redskins show some no-huddle on offense, although they're still yet to pick up a first down thus far. They've already announced in the press box that Grossman has a knee injury and will not return this evening. Just when it looked like No. 8 was getting back on track, he gets hurt once again and could miss out on his audition for the 2008 starting quarterback job …

Griese lofts a beautiful touch pass down the right sideline as he recognizes the man-to-man coverage, but Berrian just can't keep both feet in bounds. Robbie Gould comes on for a 48-yard field goal attempt, however, it looks like a Redskin got a big paw up there and partially blocked the kick. We're still scoreless in D.C. just about ten minutes into the game …

Jason Campbell hits a few passes out of the no-huddle, including a pair to tight end Chris Cooley. But on his second catch, Brandon McGowan makes a good tackle and keeps Cooley about a yard and a half short of the first down. Now Shane Suisham trots on the field for a 48-yard field goal of his own, but he comes up a tad short and gives the ball back to the Bears with good field position once again …

That didn't take long. Griese is sacked on third down. Honestly, that may have been the shortest possession in NFL history that didn't involve a score or a turnover …

And that's the end of the first quarter, a good ole fashioned scoreless taffy pull as my friend Jeff Dickerson from ESPN1000 would say …

Campbell again hits Cooley over the middle for another big gainer, but the Bears defense holds and forces another field goal attempt. Suisham tries again, this time from 37 yards, and he misses again wide to the left to keep us all knotted up at zeroes. Offensive tackle Chris Samuels went diving at Antonio Garay's knee on a running play, and Garay wasn't happy about it as he gets carted off to the locker room with some sort of lower-leg injury …

Griese looks pretty comfortable running this hurry-up offense, a tribute to his experience since he surely had very few reps with it in practice the last two weeks. However, the drive eventually stalls in Redskins territory and results in yet another Maynard punt. The ball bounces into the end zone for a touchback, so just a net of 20 yards on that attempt …

Now Campbell comes up lame, grabbing his throwing arm after getting popped by McGowan on a second-down scramble toward the left sideline. Backup QB Todd Collins takes to the field for his first action of the season. In an interesting twist, Griese once backed up Collins when the two of them played at Michigan together in college …

Peterson should have had a big play on a third-down screen pass, but Terrence Metcalf is whistled for being downfield illegally. So naturally, on 3rd-and-13, Griese throws a 2-yard pass to Rashied Davis on a quick out. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner simply refuses to call any sort of passing play further than a few yards past the line of scrimmage …

Campbell is back on the field after the elbow injury, but now he's slow to get up and holding his left knee. This one looks pretty serious, so expect Collins to take over the rest of the way. It's really been a battle of attrition so far in the first half …

After a brilliant punt that's downed at the 3-yard line, Griese is forced to take over deep in his own territory. …

"This is the two-minute warning" …

The only thing tougher to watch than Grossman trying to run is watching Griese trying to run. Alright, I'll say it. This is one of the worst football games I've seen in my life as we inch toward the end of the first half …

On third down, Alex Brown rips the ball away from Collins to force a fumble, and then Adewale Ogunleye pounces on it for the takeaway. The Bears take over at their own 47, but it's not going to matter much if Griese doesn't start challenging the Redskins vertically. All this sideline-to-sideline stuff is just mind-numbing …

Yet another 3-yard throw toward the right sideline, and Shawn Springs jumps the route for an easy interception. After an eventful return after the pick, the Redskins get the ball back at the Chicago 21. Just one play later, Collins hits Todd Yoder, who's only playing in place of the banged-up Cooley, on a deep drag pattern for the touchdown. 7-0 Washington after the Suisham extra point. Based on how the Bears offense looks right now, this game might be over already …

Griese throws yet another interception right to Springs just before the end of the first half. What an abomination. This team went to the Super Bowl last season? …

And that's the end of a miserable first half, 7-0 Redskins as most of America will be switching from the NFL Network to the Food Network for the rest of the evening …

Sparked by an amazing catch-and-run by Clinton Portis on a screen pass all the way down to the Chicago 1-yard line, Mike Sellars finds paydirt on a short run up the gut. It's now 14-0 Redskins after the first drive of the second half, and the Bears are in big trouble to say the least. On the Portis play that went for 54 yards, Adam Archuleta and a host of others had a chance to make the tackle but came up empty …

What an unbelievable catch by Berrian down the right sideline on 3rd-and-7 for 35 yards, the first time all game long that the Bears have even challenged the Washington corners in space. Two snaps later rookie tight end Greg Olsen tops Berrian with a brilliant catch of his own, batting the ball to himself with his right hand before getting both mitts on it. But numerous embarrassing penalties – six on this drive alone – kill any chance the offense has for a touchdown, so the Midway Monsters are forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Gould that trims the lead to 14-3 …

The Bears get the ball back after just a 26-yard punt, so the offense will have good field position once again at the Redskins' 48. Now it appears that Portis has a stomach injury and is questionable to return because Ladell Betts was on the field that series for Washington. Somehow, Chicago has a little bit of life despite playing an absolutely horrendous game through about 40 minutes of so-called "action" …

After a good-looking run from Garrett Wolfe, who is seeing his first series of the night on offense, Berrian comes up with another sensational catch in the back-right corner of the end zone. One official calls it a score, but then another official waves it off and rules the play incomplete. Lovie Smith decides to challenge the call, and that turns out to be a good idea because Berrian is awarded the touchdown after review. Gould splits the uprights from placement, so it's 14-10 Redskins all of a sudden. Wow, we've actually got a ballgame …

Brown is having a fantastic game, blowing up a screen pass to Betts on the last play of the third quarter as we flip sides for the final period …

I can't remember the last time I saw this many movement penalties on both offensive lines in one game. Cooley is the only guy who can hurt the Bears in the passing game, yet they keep leaving him open over and over again – his 33-yard catch on 3rd-and-11 kept a fledgling Washington drive alive. The defense ultimately does hold, forcing a 23-yard Suisham field goal that pushes the lead to 17-10 `Skins with 11:52 left in the fourth quarter …

All of a sudden Hester is making an impact at receiver, catching back-to-back passes from Griese to cross midfield and get into Washington territory again. He makes four catches on the drive overall, all of them on the left side because cornerback Fred Smoot is currently out of the game with an injury. Griese tries to hit Olsen on the fade pattern twice from the 4-yard line, first to the right side and then to the left, but the Bears have to settle for a 22-yard Gould field goal and a 17-13 score …

You would think the Redskins would try to churn some clock and run the football, but they take to the air instead and move it right down the field. Touchdown Redskins as Collins hits Betts out of the backfield out of a classic Joe Gibbs bunch formation. After the Suisham extra point, it's now 24-13 with just 2:41 remaining on the clock …

Consecutive screen passes to Wolfe get the Bears on the move, but they're still in a big hole as we reach the two-minute warning …

For the third time this season, Smith decides to waste all kinds of time trying to get the touchdown first even though his team needs two scores to get back in this game. It doesn't matter which score you get first, so why not kick the field goal as soon as possible in order to save as much time as possible for a potential tying touchdown? It's a stupid decision that way too many coaches are guilty of, so there is only 30 second left on the clock by the time Gould eventually kicks his field goal that brings the score to 24-16 …

And that's the ballgame, sports fans, not an easy one to watch no matter which team you were rooting for tonight …

Be sure to visit BearReport.com for all the analysis, all the insight, and all the latest from Washington D.C. as the Bears lose a miserable game 24-16 and can officially start making vacation plans for the month of January.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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