The Washington Redskins have had a terrible case of the Mondays — and they are desperate to fix it.
Since 1998, the Redskins are 1-16 when they play at home on Monday nights. They have dropped their last six Monday home games, with their last victory coming Dec. 3, 2012, against the New York Giants.
Now, Washington (0-2) will get another chance to snap the skid when it hosts the Chicago Bears (1-1) in Landover, Md.
Both teams have shown flaws in terms of offense, but the Bears are feeling better after a wild 16-14 win over the Denver Broncos last week. Chicago nearly blew the game late in the fourth quarter only to have rookie kicker Eddy Pineiro win it as time expired.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has posted an ugly 65.0 passer rating in his first two starts. He has passed for 348 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Plenty of time remains for Trubisky and the offense to turn things around, coach Matt Nagy said.
“Overall in two games, with there being a lot more negatives than positives offensively, we’ve done a good job at protecting the football, and that’s given us a chance,” Nagy said.
Nagy relied much more heavily on the run game in Week 2, with rookie running back David Montgomery leading the way. Montgomery will look to build upon his statistics (80 rushing yards, one touchdown) against the Redskins.
Meanwhile, Allen Robinson (11 receptions, 143 yards) has proved to be Trubisky’s top target through two weeks.
For the Redskins to beat the Bears, they will have to avoid beating themselves. Washington is coming off a 32-27 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 and a 31-21 defeat against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2.
Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will aim to continue his sharp performance. He has passed for 601 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a sterling 111.2 passer rating.
Adrian Peterson returned to the field last week and picked up 25 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The Redskins’ top receiver thus far has been rookie Terry McLaurin, who has 10 catches for 187 yards and two scores.
It’s the defense that has Redskins coach Jay Gruden concerned.
“Well, pass rush is not there. It’s really not there,” Gruden told reporters. “(Cowboys quarterback Dak) Prescott is patting the ball two or three times (last week), and when we do get pass rush, we’re not tight enough in coverage. So it’s a combination, really. I’m not blaming the pass rush. I’m not blaming the coverage. It’s a combination.
“So maybe we have to give some more exotic looks to make the quarterback hold on to the ball a little longer to get home with the pressure. We got to rush the passer a little bit better. I think that’s the biggest challenge for our defensive line.”
The Bears do not have to worry much about their stout defense, which is led by Pro Bowl pass rusher Khalil Mack and second-year linebacker Roquan Smith. And Pineiro’s big leg has eased many fears about a poor kicking game.
Instead, the spotlight is on a struggling Trubisky and his hopeful head coach.
“We were just talking to those guys and talking to Mitch, that no matter how these games go as we go through this process, you’re going to be judged on your wins and losses,” Nagy said. “That’s what it comes down to. When we fight through, figuring out how we get going here offensively and what our identity is, let’s get these wins. We have a very good defense to be able to do that. We just keep fighting and we just stick together.”
Following a second primetime appearance in three weeks, the Bears are back at Soldier Field for Week 4 and a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Washington will play at the New York Giants next week.
—Field Level Media