As has been the case much of the season, the Bears were their own worst enemy in Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Redskins, especially when it came to committing penalties.
The offense faced second-and-28 on one drive after back-to-back flags on left tackle Charles Leno Jr. Jr. for holding and receiver Marc Mariani for pass interference. They had second-and-27 on another possession after a sack of Jay Cutler and a holding penalty on left guard Matt Slauson.
Cornerback Tracy Porter's 32-yard pass interference penalty set up a Redskins touchdown and Khari Lee's holding penalty erased Deonte Thompson's 32-yard kickoff return.
"It's a team sport and there are a lot of factors that go into it," said running back Kyle Long. "Whether it's penalties that keep us behind, we get into a position where you're second-and-20-something, there's no play call for that situation."
Bouncing back: Cutler rebounded from an off day last Sunday against the 49ers by completing 19 of 31 passes for 315 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 117.0 passer rating. Asked to assess Cutler's performance, coach John Fox said: "Almost good enough, just like all of us."
Filling the void: With outside linebacker Pernell McPhee inactive due to an injury, veterans Lamarr Houston and Willie Young both stayed red hot by recording one sack apiece.
Houston now has five sacks in his last six games and leads the Bears with six on the season, while Young has 4.5 sacks in his last four outings and is second on the team with 5.5 sacks.
Defensive lineman Mitch Unrein also had a sack for the Bears, the first of his career.
Tough day: Right tackle Kyle Long struggled mightily Sunday, allowing two sacks and drawing a false-start penalty. One of the sacks resulted in the Bears' only turnover as Trent Murphy forced and recovered a Cutler fumble with the Redskins already leading 14-0 in the second quarter.
Century club: Receiver Alshon Jeffery had a team-high six receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown, his fourth 100-yard game of the season and first since Nov. 9 in San Diego.
Roster info: Receiver Eddie Royal returned after missing the last five games with a knee injury, catching one pass for 15 yards.
In addition to McPhee, safety Antrel Rolle (knee) and nickel back Bryce Callahan (quad) did not play due to injuries. Other Bears inactives were running back Antone Smith, guard/tackle Nate Becton, receiver Cameron Meredith and defensive lineman Ziggy Hood.
One-liners: The Bears have now lost six straight games to the Redskins, their longest current skid against any NFL team. ... Thompson recorded his first reception of the season, a 36-yarder on third-and-eight that set up the Bears' first TD. ... Tight end Zach Miller's 9-yard TD catch Sunday gave him a team-leading five touchdown receptions this season, all in the last six games.