By Max Harper
Magic Johnson, the legendary NBA champion and one of the Commanders new owners, summed up the failure following the 40-20 flameout to the Bears.
“Tonight the Commanders played with no intensity or fire,” Johnson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“We didn’t compete in the first half and got down 27-3 heading into halftime. It was too big of a hole to climb out of, and that is why we ended up losing 40-20.”
The comments in the postgame locker room were not contradictory.
“That’s as bad as it gets, honestly,” wide receiver Terry McLaurin said.
Washington’s offense had 87 net yards in the first half and improved but not enough in the second half.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields pelted Washington’s secondary with four touchdown passes.
Three went to DJ Moore — two in the opening 16 minutes — who compiled 230 receiving yards as the latest wide receiver to torch Washington’s secondary.
“(It’s like there’s a) memo that we like to get punched in the mouth first and then respond,” defensive end Montez Sweat said. “We have to stop doing that.”
Chicago had last scored at least 40 points in 2020 and had reached 30 only four times since entering Thursday. You sure could have fooled anyone watching them blast a defense that ranked among the better units last season. Washington has allowed at least 30 points in its previous four games.
“We got to do better. The defense was completely horse(bleep) today,” two-time Pro Bowl tackle selection Jonathan Allen said.
“Everybody not doing their job,” Sweat said. “We just got to play as one.”
Head coach Ron Rivera wisely avoided a knee-jerk reaction to Washington’s third consecutive loss following a 2-0 start. He took responsibility — “it starts at the top” — talked directly about the “slow start, first and foremost,” and stated he and his staff will “evaluate everything” before the Week 6 game at Atlanta.