Washington Commanders at Chicago Bears – NFL Week 6 Game Preview

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The Week 6 schedule begins with an NFC matchup on Thursday Night Football, as the Washington Commanders head to Soldier field to play the Chicago Bears. Both teams are coming off losses in tight games, and will need to turn the page quickly. Washington fell on Sunday to the Tennessee Titans by a final score of 21-17, and had the chance to take the lead late. Chicago made a furious comeback against the Minnesota Vikings over the weekend, but came up just short in a 29-22 defeat.

Let’s take a look at three narratives to watch in this game.

Washington Backfield Utilization

One of the big storylines in the preseason was the Commanders’ desire to greatly reduce the workload of Antonio Gibson. It was surprising that the team would want to seemingly phase out such a young player with an interesting skill set, but the coaching staff fell in love with rookie running back Brian Robinson. Robinson appeared to be the frontrunner to win the starting job coming out of training camp, but an unfortunate off the field incident led him to be unavailable for the first part of the season.

Robinson made an emotional return to the field against the Titans, and the Commanders were not afraid to get him involved. He handled nine carries to Gibson’s three. Neither player was particularly effective on the ground, but it looks like Washington wants to revert to the initial plans they made over the summer.

Keep in mind that J.D. McKissic will also be a factor in the backfield as the team’s main pass catching threat in that room. He caught five passes against Tennessee and will eat into the workload of Gibson and Robinson.

Chicago’s Passing Game

Much has been made of the Bears’ unwillingness to let quarterback Justin Fields air it out on offense. Coming into Week 6, Chicago has attempted a league low 88 passes. That figure isn’t just last in the NFL, it is 35 attempts behind the team with the second fewest amount of throws. While a team is best served playing to their strengths, fans have to wonder if this approach is stunting Fields’ development as a franchise quarterback.

There isn’t much of a path for Chicago to all of a sudden unleash the aerial attack 55 times a contest, but it will be interesting to see whether the coaching staff makes any adjustments to this end before the Washington game.

Carson Wentz On Notice

The embattled Washington starter has bounced around the league in the last few seasons, playing on his third team in three years. The Commanders have had good reason to believe that they were one legitimate quarterback away from returning to the postseason, but the production they’ve received from that position, once again, has been disappointing.

After taking care of business at home in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington has dropped four straight games, and is in danger of falling out of the NFC playoff mix. Wentz’s turnover against Tennessee is a glaring mistake, and he’ll need to turn it around. If he doesn’t, the Commanders might look to make a change.