CHICAGO (AP) — Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins figured they had to get a road win somewhere to have a chance of winning their division.
They found what they were looking for in Chicago. And they can thank another late field goal miss by Robbie Gould.
Cousins threw for 300 yards and a touchdown Sunday, and the Redskins hung on for a 24-21 victory over the Bears after Gould missed a 50-yard field goal.
Washington (6-7) remained tied with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead and moved a half-game ahead of the New York Giants, who play Miami on Monday.
The Redskins went ahead by three early in the fourth quarter on Dustin Hopkins’ 47-yard field goal and stopped a nine-game road losing streak dating to last season.
“It feels good to win, especially on the road,” Cousins said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. It felt like it took the whole team. It took special team plays, defense plays, offensive plays, it took a lot of different guys making plays, contributing to finding a way.”
It also took one big miss by a slumping kicker who for more than a decade has been as reliable as they come. But after making all 15 attempts in his first six games, Gould is 11 of 17, three of those misses coming the past two weeks.
The Bears (5-8) were in position to score after Jay Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery with a 50-yard pass to on the Washington 35. Gould, who missed the potential winner at the end of regulation in last week’s overtime loss to San Francisco, got a chance to redeem himself. But his 50-yarder sailed wide right with 1:40 left, giving Chicago its second straight loss.
“The wind was at my back, the wind was blowing right to left,” Gould said. “It was in perfect range. I could have probably kicked from 61 going that way, 60-ish maybe. They got in range. I’ve got to make it.”
Cousins completed 24 of 31 passes on a soggy but unusually warm 62-degree afternoon. Jordan Reed had 120 yards receiving and a touchdown. Alfred Morris ran for a TD in the Redskins’ first road win since they beat Dallas on Oct. 27, 2014.
Now that they finally came out on top away from home, the Redskins will try to do something else for the first time this season — win two in a row. They last did that when they took out Tennessee at home and won at Dallas last season.
“We have everything we want still in front of us,” coach Jay Gruden said. “It keeps us alive, it keeps our heart beeping, heart pumping, guys should be excited to come back to work on Monday.”
The Bears showed some spark after a sluggish start, but came up short once again in yet another home loss. After their playoff hopes were all but dashed against San Francisco, on Sunday they fell to 1-6 at Soldier Field.
Jay Cutler threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns after a gut-wrenching week for his family.
A body believed to be that of his brother-in-law Michael Cavallari was discovered Thursday in southern Utah. Cutler is married to reality TV personality Kristin Cavallari.
Jeffery caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Zach Miller added 85 yards receiving and a TD. Matt Forte ran for the tying score in the third quarter, but for the fourth time this season, the Bears lost by three points or less.
“It’s Groundhog’s Day,” Cutler said. “I mean, we’re right there. Sometimes we make a play, other times we’re not making the play.”
Washington grabbed a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter when Cousins fired a 5-yard strike to Reed, capping a 10-play drive. But in a flash, the Bears tied it.
They drove 80 yards for their first third-quarter touchdown of the season, with Cutler connecting with Miller from the 9.
Kyle Fuller stepped in front of what appeared to be an underthrown pass by Cousins at the Washington 30 and returned it to the 21. Forte then scored on a 7-yard run to tie it with 1:24 remaining, a scenario that seemed far-fetched after Washington scored touchdowns on its first two possessions.
NOTES: Coach Jay Gruden said WR DeSean Jackson was a bit sore after he hurt his knee making a catch as he dived out of bounds in the fourth quarter. … Redskins TE Derek Carrier exited with a right knee injury in the first quarter and will have an MRI on Monday. … Bears WR Eddie Royal had just one reception for 15 yards after missing five games with a knee injury.