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Week 3 Game Preview: Chicago vs. Washington

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The Bears travel to the nation’s capital to keep their winning ways going, while searching for offensive answers against a bad defense.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

EDITOR: With the game taking place tonight, we wanted to give a quick refresh to our game previews.

The Chicago Bears look to keep their winning ways going as they head into another prime-time game and this one on the road.

Looking for offensive answers the Bears should get a break, as Washington has struggled on defense. Their offense on the other hand, comes in averaging 24 points per game.

There’s some odd streaks going on in this series that, one way or the other, will be broken Monday night. For the Bears, they’ve lost seven straight to Washington going back to 2003 and they haven’t won in the nation’s capital since 2001. Even worse, they’re 2-13 against Washington since 1989.

For Washington, they haven’t won at home on Monday Night Football since 2012 and are 1-15 in that instance since 2000. The Bears broke a big streak last week, where Denver was virtually unbeatable, so maybe they can get off the snide in D.C. Monday.

Washington Football Team

SBNation site: Hogs Haven

Game day time/TV: Monday, 7:15 p.m., ESPN

Record: 0-2, third in NFC East

Last week: 31-21 loss to Dallas Cowboys

Bears all-time record against: 26-23-1 (including postseason)

Historical match ups: The Bears and Washington had a lot of playoff meetings back in the ‘80s.

But I’ll highlight the last time the Bears won in D.C. Week 15, 2001. The 10-3 Bears came to the 6-7 Washington squad.

Paul Edinger hit two field goals, Leon Johnson scored a 32 yard rushing TD and the only touchdown through the air that day came courtesy of a trick play with Brad Maynard throwing to Brian Urlacher for a 27-yard score.

Stephen Davis scored Washington’s only TD, as Tony Banks’ 236 passing yards wasn’t enough to get it done and the Bears won 20-15.

Last meeting: The last time these teams met was Christmas Eve in 2016.

The Bears came in 3-11, while Washington was 7-6-1.

Matt Barkley started the game for the Bears and threw for 323 yards, but unraveled to throw five interceptions. He managed to toss two TDs, one to Deonte Thompson and the other to Cam Meredith, who had 135 yards. Jordan Howard added 119 rushing yards and Jeremy Langford scored a rushing TD.

Kirk Cousins rushed for two TDs and threw another to Chris Thompson, who also scored one on the ground. Mack Brown rushed for another score and Washington ran off with a 41-21 win.

Offense: Washington enters week three with the 10th ranked offense in points, but they rank 25th in yards.

They are 30th in rushing yards and 10th in passing yards.

They’re a clean offense, having not turned the ball over through two games, but that will be tough to keep going against a Bears defense known for it’s takeaways.

Case Keenum (69.1 cmp. pct./601 yds./5 TD/0 INT) is playing his usual brand of efficient, if unspectacular football and has held off first round rookie Dwayne Haskins so far.

Washington doesn’t have a ton of big name receivers, with third round rookie Terry McLaurin (10 rec./187 yds./2 TDs) leading the way for the wide outs. Their receptions leader is actually RB Chris Thompson (12/116/0). Other receivers of note are Trey Quinn (8/69/1), Paul Richardson (7/52/1) and TE Vernon Davis (7/88/1).

With Derrius Guice landing on IR, Adrian Peterson (10 att./25 yds./1 TD) takes over with the aforementioned Thompson (5/13/0) spelling him.

Defense: Washington enters the game with the 30th ranked defense in both yards and points allowed.

Their passing defense is 25th and their rushing defense is 31st.

Offseason acquisition Landon Collins (19 tkls/1 TFL) leads the team in tackles, while fellow safety Montae Nicholson (14 tkls/2 PD/1 INT) and LB Cole Holcomb (14 tkls/3 TFL) also make plays for them.

Cornerback Josh Norman (8 tkls/2 PD/1 TFL) is still patrolling the secondary as well.

On the defensive line they have Ryan Kerrigan (1 sack/1 TFL/4 QB hits), Da’Ron Payne (6 tkls/1 QB hit/1 TFL) and Cassanova McKinzy (1 sack/1 QB hit) rushing QBs.

Former Bears draft pick Jonathan Bostic is also playing for Washington.

Key match ups: The Washington secondary has struggled, with Norman not looking quite like his former All-Pro self. The Bears’ receivers need to get open and I mean beyond just Allen Robinson. Anthony Miller has been M.I.A. and Taylor Gabriel really hasn’t flashed like he did last season.

They need to get more open and then, of course, Mitchell Trubisky needs to find them.

That 31st ranked rushing defense should open up some bigger holes for David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis. The offensive line obviously needs to continue its solid play from a week ago, when they didn’t allow a sack, but they can improve over the first two games, I think.

On defense, get after Keenum. He’s only been sacked twice in two games and has no turnovers, but the Bears’ front seven is at a different level. This defense thrives on taking the ball away.

If the offense can give the team a lead, the defense should have an easier time against an offense that hasn’t really been consistently great.

What to watch for: Will the offense have a better showing against the worst defense its faced? Patience is wearing thin in Chicago with Matt Nagy and Trubisky, especially. If there was a week for a strong showing to calm a lot of the nerves, this is it.

Washington has scored some points, but really haven’t looked great since a strong first half in week one.

Key stats: As a team Washington is averaging 2.5 yards per rush, while opponents are averaging 5.2 yards per rush against them.

Washington ranks dead last in third down conversions allowed on defense, opponents are converting 64.3 percent of their third downs.

Washington’s offense has been efficient in the redzone, scoring TDs on 80 percent of their trips inside the 20. The Bears have scored on 50 percent of their redzone trips.

The Bears have allowed 24 passing TDs and have 28 INTs since the beginning of last season. Keenum hasn’t thrown a pick yet.

Washington is 1-15 on Monday Night Football at home since 2000.

Rex Grossman was the last Bears quarterback to win against Washington.

Can the Bears take care of business on the road? Will their offense get on track or do you expect another sloppy effort.