Patriots vs. Bears score: Justin Fields spoils Bailey Zappe’s return to lineup as Chicago rolls to ‘MNF’ upset

The Patriots entered “Monday Night Football” as 8.5-point favorites over the Bears, looking to earn their third straight win in Mac Jones’ return to the lineup after a three-game absence. They returned with rookie Bailey Zappe under center, and a Bill Belichick defense that ran through the best performance of young Bears’ career Justin Fields. Although Zappe’s entry briefly ignited the Gillette Stadium crowd with New England’s passing attack, Fields stole the show at quarterback, capping a multi-point ground game as Chicago was outscored 33-14 in the first period.

Jones, who was returning from a high-ankle sprain, didn’t even last a quarter and a half before Belichick benched him following a rough second-quarter layup. But Zappe’s energy only did so much for the Pats after back-to-back scoring drives to start the night. New England didn’t score a 10th touchdown until deep into the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — a broken hand to Jakobi Meyers, and running backs Roquan Smith and Kyler Gordon — allowed the Bears. really run away with the win.

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Why the Bears won

They finally figured out how to put Fields in a position to win. Like the Giants with Daniel Jones, Chicago allowed their young QB to lean on his legs, and the punt returner did his job, showing extra effort and elite vision on designed punts to create a rushing attack. run and at the same time the hard waves of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit enough downfield shots, including a critical late one to tight end Cole Kmet, to keep the Patriots on their toes. The Bears, simply put, are built to win old-school football, and on Monday, they allowed arguably their best athlete — the QB — to help them do it.

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Matt Eberflus’ defense was also great for most of the night. Jaquan Brisker’s pick of Mac Jones forced a QB change for New England, and after Zappe’s initial spark, his unit moved on to basically the Pats’ typically strong one-two punch of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris. Eliminate those that are only 40 meters apart. into minutes of reduced activity. Roquan Smith’s solo play picked off Zappe in the fourth, but sealed the deal, and Kyler Gordon’s own INT just beat him.

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Why did the Patriots lose?

Outside of Zappe’s first two drives to the relief of Jones, who was standing on the sideline in a helmet, as if he was waiting for a timed call to re-enter the match, they failed to move the ball with any rhythm, nor did they make stops. Three-headed bear ground game. The QB switch looked brilliant early on, with the rookie Zappe running it downfield with confidence and DeVante Parker making plays for the signal-calling guy. But a three-and-out later doomed the unit, and in the end, Zappe’s order disappeared from the pocket; His wrong choices removed any chance of a potential comeback. It didn’t help that the line failed to put up a serious run from Stevenson or Harris all night.

Defensively, the Pats’ undefeated night was perhaps even more surprising. Despite having more light on the edge than Matthew Judon (2.5 sacks), they had no answers to keep the Fields inside when the QB broke outside the sack. And their handling left a bit to be desired in the red zone, where Montgomery and Herbert were leading the way.

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Turning point

Down 17-14 with just 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to take the lead back to 39. But a failed hand from Zappe to Meyers threw the ball, and Justin Jones made the save to give Chicago a bonus possession. After a quick Fields hit to Darnell Mooney, the Bears extended their lead on a field goal before halftime, and never looked back.

Game play

Fields and Khalil Herbert needed hand-eye coordination on the TD pass in traffic, but Jaquan Brisker, the Bears’ top safety, showed heavy ears and hands early on his pick of Mac Jones:

What is

The Bears (3-4) will hit the road for a Week 8 matchup with the Cowboys (5-2), who returned to the Lions in Dak Prescott’s first game on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Patriots (3-4), currently in the bottom of the AFC East, will face the overmatched Jets (5-2), who beat the Broncos for their fourth straight win in Week 7.


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