Redskins sink turnover-prone Bears
It was a performance that left him a little overwhelmed, and in the NFL's record book.
Hall tied the league mark with his four interceptions, running one back 92 yards for a touchdown, and the Washington Redskins sacked Cutler four times while forcing six turnovers in a 17-14 victory over Chicago on Sunday.
Hall shares the record with 18 others and is the first to pick off four passes since Deltha O'Neal did it with Denver in 2001. The four interceptions give him five on the season, one shy of his career high, and easily eclipsed his previous best of two in a game.
''It's kind of mind blowing,'' he said. ''I had my mom, my aunt, and my two cousins in the stands. The first ball went to my mom, the second ball went to my aunt and the next thing you knew everybody had a ball.''
His one-handed interception and TD return late in the third quarter were made for the highlight reel and put the Redskins ahead for good, sending Chicago (4-3) to its third loss in four games.
Washington (4-3), meanwhile, equaled its win total from last season and joined a growing line of teams that has pounded Cutler. He has been sacked 19 times in his last three games, and when he wasn't on his back, he kept finding Hall.
The TD return after his second interception was particularly impressive and stopped a Bears drive at the 13.
The Redskins were trailing 14-10 when Hall made that one-handed grab. Cutler, throwing off his back foot, was trying to hit Johnny Knox along the right sideline. Instead, Hall ran it back 92 yards to give Washington a 17-14 lead with 1:36 left in the third.
''That was the sickest interception I've ever seen,'' linebacker London Fletcher said.
He also picked off Cutler early in the fourth, and had one more in him late in the game.
That came in the closing minutes, when he picked off a deep pass intended for Knox at the Washington 13, yet the idea of avoiding Hall apparently never crept into Cutler's mind.
''No,'' he said. ''Not at all. I've played against him before. There's no reason to shy away from him. I mean that's hard for me to say throwing four picks to the guy, but I still think if we had to play him tomorrow, I'd go after him every time.''
In the first game after the NFL's crackdown on illegal hits, there were at least a few instances where players appeared to pull up rather than go for the big hit. One example came on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. The Redskins' Reed Doughty could have blasted Knox on an incomplete pass near the left sideline, but grabbed his legs rather than go high.
But the turnovers and sacks took the spotlight in this one.
Cutler was 26 of 40 with 281 yards and the Bears wound up with 322 yards against a defense that came in allowing a league-high 420 per game. They got going after running seven plays for minus-5 yards in the first quarter, but it was simply another rough afternoon for a team that is struggling going into its bye.
''It was a big loss for us,'' defensive end Julius Peppers said. ''It was a big game. We just let it get away.''
Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs left in the first quarter after aggravating an ankle injury that kept him out of the previous game.
Washington's Donovan McNabb threw for 200 yards with a touchdown and interception in his hometown. Torain had another big game, gaining 125 yards on 21 carries.
Brian Orakpo had two sacks, and Albert Haynesworth had a sack after missing two games following the death of his half-brother in a motorcycle accident. He also was in on a big play on the first drive of the second half, when he jumped over the pile and knocked down Cutler as he tried to score on first down at the 1, resulting in a fumble that Washington recovered.
''Right before we started warming up, I started thinking about him,'' Haynesworth said. ''It was kind of hard. I cried a little bit and I heard my younger brother say, 'You're crying over me?' I had to dry it up and be a big brother and play ball.''
Notes: Washington TE Chris Cooley was also active after getting a concussion last weekend against Indianapolis, as was FB Mike Sellers (heel), while RB Clinton Portis continued to nurse a left groin injury. ... Bears CB Zackary Bowman (foot) and TE Desmond Clark (healthy scratch) were inactive. ... Cornerback D.J. Moore returned an interception 54 yards in the first quarter for a Bears TD.