The Patriots entered “Monday Night Football” as 8.5-point favorites over the Bears, looking for their third straight win in the return of Mack Jones after a three-game absence. They came away with a career-best performance from rookie Bailey Chappe and Justin Fields, a young Bears defense in Bill Belichick. Despite Chappe’s entry, which briefly ignited the Gillette Stadium crowd with New England’s passing attack, Fields stole the show at quarterback, upsetting Chicago 33–14 in prime time.
Jones, returning from a high-ankle sprain, didn’t even make it a quarter-and-a-half before Belichick benched him following an ugly second-quarter interception. But Jappé’s energy started his night for the Pats after back-to-back scoring drives. New England didn’t enter the contest from 10th down until deep into the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — a fumble to Jacoby Meyers, and back-breaking interceptions to Roquan Smith and Kyle Gordon — allowed the Bears to score. Really want to run with success.
Here are some takeaways from Monday night’s upset of the Big Bears:
Why the Bears won
They finally figured out how to make Fields win. Like the Giants with Daniel Jones, Chicago allowed its young QB to lean on his feet, and the signal-caller did his part, with David Montgomery’s heavy touches designed to accelerate the rushing attack. Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit enough shots downfield, including a crucial late one to tight end Col Gmet, to keep the Patriots on their toes. The Bears, simply put, are built to win old-school football, and on Monday, they let their best athlete — the QB — help them do just that.
Matt Eberflus’ defense was also up for most of the night. Jaquan Brisker’s Mack Jones pick forced New England’s QB change, and after Zappe’s initial spark, his unit was essentially eliminated as the Pats’ mighty one-two punch of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris combined for 40 yards. In the waning minutes of action. Roquan Smith’s heads-up hit put Jappe in the fourth.
Why the Patriots lost
Outside of Jappé’s first two drives, they couldn’t move the ball in any rhythm, and they couldn’t stop, as if Jones was standing, helmet on, waiting for a tentative call to re-enter the matchup. Bears tripleheader home game. The QB switch looked genius early on, with rookie Zappe slinging it with confidence and DeVande Parker making plays for the young signal caller. But three-and-outs later decimated the unit, and eventually, Jappe’s command from the pocket all but disappeared; His bad choices destroyed any chance of a comeback. It didn’t help that the line couldn’t pave the way for any serious speed from either Stevenson or Harris all night.
Defensively, the Pats’ lackluster night was perhaps even more surprising. Despite more flash off the edge from Matthew Juden (2.5 sacks), they had no answer for containing Fields once the QB broke outside the pocket. Their tackling left a bit to be desired in the red zone with Montgomery and Herbert going forward.
Trailing 17-14 with just 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to regain the lead from 39. But after Zappe lost his hand to Meyers, Justin Jones put the ball on the ground. Recovered to give Chicago the bonus possession. After a quick field strike to Darnell Mooney, the Bears extended their lead before halftime on a field goal and never looked back.
Game of the game
Fields and Khalil Herbert deserve props for their hand-eye coordination on a screen-pass TD through traffic, but Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker showed serious hops and hands in picking off Mack Jones:
The Bears (3-4) head into a Week 8 showdown with the Cowboys (5-2), who beat the Lions in Dak Prescott’s first game on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Patriots (3-4), now in the cellar of the AFC East, will battle the Jets (5-2) in Week 7 for their fourth straight win over the Broncos.
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