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Opponent breakdown: Redskins


After falling in overtime in Week 13, the Bears (5-7) return to action on Sunday against the Washington Redskins (5-7) at Soldier Field. Here's a breakdown of Chicago's Week 14 opponent:

What's new: Washington's offense is far from electrifying, but the unit has gotten a bit of a spark this season thanks to a pair of rookies. Running back Matt Jones, the team's third-round pick, is second on the team in rushing. He has become Washington's primary runner lately, and in Week 13, Jones got three times as many carries as former starter Alfred Morris. Wide receiver Jamison Crowder, selected in the fourth round, has helped out the passing game. Crowder has 48 catches on the season, third on the team.

What's old: Safety Dashon Goldson is 31 and playing for his third team in four seasons. Guys like that, generally, don't put up career numbers. But that's exactly what Goldson is doing, playing in the heart of the Washington defense. In 12 games, he's recorded 95 tackles, a career-high for the nine-year veteran and also the most by any defensive back in the NFL. Goldson isn't just a big hitter. He also has three passes defensed and a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown this season.

Last time out: Following 58 minutes of snooze-filled football, Washington and Dallas finally turned up the excitement following the two-minute warning on Monday night. The teams combined for 18 points prior to that point on the clock, and then 17 points in the game's final 74 seconds. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey booted a 54-yard field goal with nine seconds left to win it, 19-16, but that was after Washington's DeSean Jackson went from goat to hero. On a punt return with 1:47 to play and the score tied, Jackson reversed field, going backwards seven yards before fumbling. Dallas recovered and scored the go-ahead touchdown. Jackson recovered, however, catching a 28-yard touchdown from Kirk Cousins less than a minute later to tie the score again, only to see Bailey ruin it in the end.

Series history: Chicago and Washington have been frequent foes, with the series dating back to 1932. The last five matchups have all gone to the team in burgundy and gold, giving them a slight 24-23-1 advantage. The most memorable game in the series still goes to the Bears, however. Seventy-five years ago this week - December 8, 1940 - the Bears defeated Washington in the NFL Championship Game 73-0, which still is the largest margin of victory in league history.

Injury report: After playing on Monday, the co-NFC East leaders are pretty banged up. The most-recognizable name on the Washington injury report is a familiar one to Bears fans. Defensive end Stephen Paea, who played four seasons with Chicago before leaving last offseason in free agency, will miss the matchup with his old team because of a right toe sprain.

Schemes and tendencies: Washington's passing attack isn't especially prolific; the team ranks 17th in the NFL in passing yards per game and 16th in passing yards per play. However one thing the team does do well is be efficient through the air. Quarterback Kirk Cousins leads all qualifying passes in completion percentage, hitting on 68.6 percent of his passes. That puts him just slightly above Seattle's Russell Wilson. Cousins doesn't throw it all that often - he ranks 11th in the NFL with 423 attempts - but when he does uncork one, the ball doesn't hit the ground to often.

Did you know?: Sunday will be the first-ever head coaching matchup between Chicago's John Fox and Washington's Jay Gruden, as the two have never faced one another before. It is not, however, Fox's first-run in with the Gruden family. From 2002-2008, when Fox was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, he squared off with Jay's older brother, Jon, who was leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 14 career games, Fox held a 9-5 edge over Jon Gruden.

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