CHICAGO (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw for a touchdown and ran for two more, and the Washington Redskins gave their fading playoff hopes a boost with a 41-21 victory over the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
DeSean Jackson added 114 yards receiving, and Washington (8-6-1) intercepted Matt Barkley five times. It added up to an easy win for the Redskins after they relinquished control of the second wild card with a loss to Carolina on Monday night.
Eighth in the NFC behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay coming in, Washington scored 14 points in the first quarter after struggling early in recent games and never really was threatened by the struggling Bears (3-12).
Cousins, shaky against Carolina, was 18 of 29 for 270 yards. He threw a 17-yard touchdown to Chris Thompson in the first quarter and scored on a 9-yard run in the second. He also pushed in from the 1 late in the third to make it 31-14.
Jackson had a 57-yard reception, but left after he got hit in the jaw while blocking in the third quarter. Pierre Garcon caught four passes for 94 yards.
Thompson had a rushing touchdown in the first quarter to go with his scoring catch. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland each had two interceptions, and the Redskins won their seventh straight against Chicago.
Barkley’s five interceptions matched the second-highest total in Bears history and were the most since Jay Cutler threw five against San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2009.
Cameron Meredith added 135 yards receiving and Alshon Jeffery had 92. Jordan Howard ran for 119 yards, but the Bears simply got overmatched after back-to-back three-point losses.
The best they can do now is finish 4-12 and match their worst record since 2002. The last time they won fewer than four games in a non-strike year was when they went 3-11 in 1973.
The Redskins grabbed a 14-0 lead after being held to a total of three first-quarter points in the previous four games.
Washington scored on four straight possessions, starting with Thompson’s 7-yard run up the middle midway through the quarter.
The Bears cut it to 24-14 in the closing minute of the half on a 21-yard catch by Meredith after a leaping Jeffery hauled in a 37-yard pass.
Redskins: TE Jordan Reed sat out because of a sprained left shoulder. Reed was favoring his shoulder during Monday’s loss to Carolina before being ejected for throwing a punch.
Bears: LB Leonard Floyd exited early in the second quarter because of a concussion and was taken from the sideline on a cart. The first-round draft pick missed a game last month because of a concussion after taking a scary hit against the New York Giants. … DB Deon Bush (ankle) got banged up. … The Bears held out CB Cre’Von LeBlanc because of a knee injury.
Redskins: Host the New York Giants on Jan. 1.
Bears: Visit Minnesota on Jan. 1.