For Bears, 'everything was bad'
Down went quarterback Rex Grossman to injury.
Down the field went consecutive passes from backup Brian Griese to Washington cornerback Shawn Springs.
Down, eventually, went the Chicago Bears and any realistic dream of returning to the Super Bowl.
Washington's feel-good 24-16 victory Thursday night helped soothe sorrowful feelings over slain Redskins safety Sean Taylor's burial on Monday. The Bears can start grieving, in a vastly different emotional manner, over their lost season.
"It's very difficult, with all the expectations we had, all the things we believed we could do," defensive end Alex Brown said. "It's been bad, real bad.
"People use the saying 'never in a milliion years.' A million years came this year. It was bad. Everything was bad. Nothing went the way we felt it would go. It's over. It's pretty much over now."
Washington improved to 6-7 while Chicago dropped to 5-8. The Bears might be mathematically alive after Sunday, but their 2-7 record in the NFC is the worst of any team beginning the week either 5-7 or 6-6.
"Two weeks ago we talked about winning out," Chicago head coach Lovie Smith said. "We felt the winner of this game still had a chance. You don't deserve to go if you're 8-8. We can't think that far ahead. Minnesota is up next" on Dec. 17.
Griese finished with 295 yards passing in relief of Grossman, whose injury status remains unknown.
"It is a severe lower leg injury, and it's never good when you don't finish the game," Smith said.
Griese tried rallying Chicago, which had difficulties in the red zone most of the night.
"It's tough," Griese said of the team basically playing itself out of the playoffs. "We had goals at the beginning of the season. We wanted to finish some business we didn't finish last year.
"It's disappointing not to be able to do that."
Grossman went out just over four minutes into a sloppy first half at FedExField. Grossman was nailed by Redskins tackle Cornelius Griffin and never returned.
The game was scoreless -- thanks to three missed field goals, two by Washington's Shaun Suisham (47, 36) and one by Chicago's Robbie Gould (48, blocked) -- before Griese was picked off the first time by Springs 24 seconds left in the first half. Backup Washington quarterback Todd Collins hit tight end Todd Yoder on a 24-yard touchdown pass on the next play with 17 seconds on the clock for the only first-half scoring.
Springs then intercepted Griese with four seconds to go in the half. Both interceptions were intended for Devin Hester, who brought Springs down after a 53-yard return on the first pick.
Chicago also lost defensive tackle Antonio Garay (ankle) in the second quarter.
Washington had to deal with multiple injuries to starting quarterback Jason Campbell (right elbow, dislocated patella).
Washington went 63 yards on five plays to open the second half, with Mike Sellers running 1 yard for a 14-0 lead. A screen pass to Clinton Portis for 54 yards took the ball to the Bears 1.
Gould's 30-yard field goal put Chicago on the board late in the third quarter. Chicago had to settle for three points on a drive that had two delay of games and three false-start infractions once it reached the Redskins 21.
The Bears tallied on their next possession, with Bernard Berrian's 17-yard reception put on the board after a Chicago challenge. That made it 14-10 with 3:23 left in the third.
"I knew I caught it," Berrian said. "I know I bobbled it, but before I hit the ground I had it in my possession."
The two teams then traded field goals, first Washington and then Chicago. The Bears had to settle for a 22-yarder despite having first-and-goal at the 1.
A 16-yard touchdown pass from Collins to Ladell Betts made it 24-13 with 2:41 to play. Gould's 21-yard field goal ended the scoring with 30 seconds on the clock.
Chicago's onside kick attempt went out of bounds.
Game over, and with it, most likely any chance to attain any team goals.
"To not achieve goals is disappointing," Berrian said. "We're still going to hang our heads high and have pride and try to win out.
"It's not hard to do that. You're here to play the game, so you play to win."
Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or email@example.com.