Chicago — It was almost the perfect homecoming for Lions defensive lineman Cornelius Washington. But even though he didn’t get the storybook ending on his afternoon, he’ll gladly take walking away from the place he called home the past four years with a win.
“Man, it’s a great feeling,” Washington said. “I’m glad it happened like this. We came out with the W. It was a little ugly, it was real ugly, but we came out with the dub anyway and that’s all that matters.”
Washington, named a captain for the game, had a chance to single-handily seal the victory for the Lions. With the Bears desperately trying to tie the game up in the closing minutes, Washington and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter combined on a sack on third-and-10, forcing the Bears into a difficult fourth-and-long.
The half sack gives Washington 2.5 on the season, a new career-high for the fifth-year pro.
Facing fourth-and-13, the Lions got pressure again as Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky danced in the pocket looking for an open man before pulling the ball down and scrambling.
Washington came as part of a three-man rush on the play and was driven wide, losing his footing and falling to the ground. But he recovered and closed on Trubisky well short of the first-down marker. The 280-pound defensive end left his feet trying to make the stop, but the quarterback slipped through Washington’s tackle attempt and weaved his way to a first down.
Washington admits he got caught up in the moment and didn’t do what he was supposed to do on the play.
“I should have just ran through him,” he said. “That’s usually what I do, just run through, but I kind of dived, went for the ball a little bit. I know better.”
The Bears ended up getting in field-goal range, but kicker Connor Barth missed the 46-yard attempt.