The Patriots entered “Monday Night Football” as the 8.5-point best over the Bears, looking to win their third straight in Mac Jones’ return to the squad after missing three games. They left with rookie Bailey Zappe back under the quarterback, and Bill Belichick’s defense capsized in the best performance of Justin Fields’ youth career. Despite Zappe briefly entering to ignite the Gillette Stadium crowd along with a New England pass-attack, Fields stole the show at the quarterback, leading a multi-faceted ground game as Chicago shot off to 33-14 prime-time disruption.
Jones, who was coming back from a sprained ankle, didn’t reach a quarter and a half before Belichick put him on the bench after an ugly interception in the second quarter. But Zappe’s energy did little for Pats after scoring back-to-back goals to start his night. New England didn’t record their first drop for the 10th time in the competition until deep in the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — a tricky pass by Jacoby Myers, and deadly back interceptions for Roquan Smith and Keeler Gordon — allowed the Bears to literally escape with the win.
Here are some takeaways from the annoyance of the Big Bears on Monday night:
Why did the bears win?
They have finally figured out how to put Fields in a position to win. Much like the Giants with Daniel Jones, Chicago allowed its young QB to rest on his legs, and the signal caller did his turn, showing off extra effort and seeing the elite on stands designed to speed up a rushing attack that also featured powerful touches from David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit enough shots on the field, including a crucial late shot by Cole Kemet, to keep the Patriots on his toes. Simply put, The Bears were designed to win old school football, and on Monday, they let their best athlete – QB – help them do just that.
Matt Eberfels’ defense was also great all night long. Jaquan Brisker’s selection of Mac Jones changed QB in New England, and after Zappe’s initial spark, his unit was essentially sharpened to eliminate the usually strong Pats punch by Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, who combined for just 40 yards. In dwindling working minutes. Roquan Smith played head-to-head to snatch Zappe in the fourth inning, but the deal was closed, and Kyler Gordon’s own just rubbed it in.
Why did the Patriots lose?
Outside Zappe’s first two pushes at rest from Jones, who remained standing, helmeted, on the sidelines as if waiting for a temporary call to re-enter the game, they could not move the ball in any rhythm, and they could not stop the ball. Three-headed earth bear game. The QB switch initially looked genius, as rookie Zappe confidently carried it while DeVante Parker pitched for the young caller. But three papers were doomed to loneliness after that, and in the end, Zappy’s order disappeared from the pocket; His misguided choices eliminated any chance of a potential return. It didn’t help that the streak couldn’t set the stage for any serious momentum from Stevenson or Harris throughout the night.
Defensively, Bates’ uninspiring night was perhaps more surprising. Despite more flashes from Matthew Goodon (2.5 bags) off the edge, they had no answers to keep the fields contained once the QB broke out of the pocket. Their interventions left a bit of a dent in the red, as Montgomery and Herbert were able to move on.
Late 17-14 with only 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to reclaim the lead from 39. But a failed delivery from Zappe to Meyers put the ball on the floor, and Justin Jones recovered to give Chicago a possession bonus. After Fields’ quick hit to Darnell Mooney, the Bears extended their lead before resting on a field goal, never looking back.
play the game
Fields and Khalil Herbert deserve props for their hand-eye coordination on screen-swiping through traffic, but Jaquan Brisker, the novice bear safety, showed serious leaps in his selection of early McJones:
The Bears (3-4) will hit the road in a Week 8 showdown with the Cowboys (5-2), who outplayed the Lions in Dak Prescott’s first game on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Patriots (3-4) are now live in the AFC’s eastern basement, and will face the Rising Jets (5-2), who beat the Broncos for their fourth straight win in Week 7.
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