LANDOVER, Md. — Still far from being a good team, the Redskins are at least a successful team for a change.
The Redskins gave up a record-setting special teams touchdown to Devin Hester (see Around the league, this page) and had their defense shredded by a backup quarterback in his first regular-season game in 21 months.
But Washington took advantage of an injury-depleted Chicago defense and scored its most points since 2005, capped by running back Roy Helu's game-deciding 3-yard touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in a 45-41 victory Sunday.
"When we go watch the film, we won't watch it with smiles on our face," Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said. "But I think we made enough plays (Sunday) to win the game, and that's all matters."
Griffin threw for 298 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and ran 11 times for a season-high 84 yards.
Helu rushed for three scores, and rookie tight end Jordan Reed, taken in the draft's third round out of Florida, had a breakout performance with 134 yards and a touchdown, catching all nine passes thrown his way.
"Every game is big, but we sure needed it after being 1-4," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. "You don't want to dig yourself a bigger hole."
Backup QB Josh McCown entered in the second quarter for the Bears after starter Jay Cutler left with a groin injury. McCown saw his first action since the 2011 season, but the Bears improved with him in the game.
Chicago had 46 yards of total offense in the first half and 313 in the second. McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown to Martellus Bennett that gave his team a 41-38 lead with 3:57 left.
"I didn't ask (McCown) what he liked, what he didn't like," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "I just called the plays according to the plan we had put together. I thought he functioned very well in the offense."
Cutler was injured when he was brought down on the first career sack by 333-pound nose tackle Chris Baker. Cutler clutched at the top of his left leg and limped off the field. He was scheduled for an MRI exam today.
Hester's 81-yard punt return, which tied it at 17 in the second quarter, was the third special teams touchdown allowed by the Redskins in three games.