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 win their third straight in Mac Jones’ return to the lineup after a three-game absence. They left with rookie Bailey Zappe returning under center, and a Bill Belichick defense that turned in the best performance of Justin Fields’ Bears career. Although Zappe’s introduction briefly fired up the Gillette Stadium crowd along with New England’s passing attack, Fields stole the show at quarterback, leading a multifaceted ground game as Chicago cruised to a 33-14 upset in prime time.

Jones, returning from a sprained ankle, didn’t even make it through a quarter and a half before Belichick benched him after an ugly interception in the second quarter. But Zappe’s energy only did so much for the Pats after back-to-back goals to start his night. New England didn’t score a 10th drive until late in the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — an errant layoff to Jakobi Meyers and fumbles by Roquan Smith and Kyler Gordon — allowed the Bears to run away. literally with victory.

Here are some takeaways from Monday night’s huge upset of the Bears:

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 its new QB to rely on his legs, and the signal caller did his part, showing extra effort and elite vision on drives designed to pace an offense. rushing, also featuring tough touches from David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit enough field goals, including a critical one on tight end Cole Kmet, to keep the Patriots on their toes. The Bears, simply put, are built to win old football, and on Monday, they allowed perhaps their best athlete — the QB — to help them do it.

Matt Eberflus’ defense also came up big for most of the night. Mac Jones’ pick off of Jaquan Brisker forced a New England QB turnover, and after Zappe’s initial spark, his unit sputtered to essentially eliminate the Pats’ typically potent one-two punch of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris , who combined for just 40 yards. in the waning minutes of action. Roquan Smith’s header to pick off Zappe in the fourth completely sealed the deal, and Kyler Gordon’s INT just wiped it out.

Why the Patriots lost

Outside of Zappe’s first two swings in relief of Jones, who continued to stand, helmeted, on the sideline as if awaiting a momentary call to re-enter the game, they couldn’t move the ball at any pace, either. they couldn’t stop him. Three-headed bears land game. The switch QB initially looked brilliant, with rookie Zappe throwing down the field with confidence and DeVante Parker making plays for the young signal receiver. But three-and-out crashes doomed the unit afterward, and by the end, Zappe’s command of the pocket was gone; His wrong choices wiped out any possibility of a possible comeback. It didn’t help that the line couldn’t pave the way for any serious snaps from either Stevenson or Harris all night.

Defensively, the Pats’ uninspiring night was perhaps even more surprising. Despite more fire from Matthew Judon (2.5 sacks) off the edge, they had no answer for containing Fields after the QB broke outside the pocket. And their hitting left a little to be desired in the red zone, where Montgomery and Herbert worked their way up front.

Point of return

Trailing 17-14 with just 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to take the lead back from their own 39. But an errant handoff from Zappe to Meyers fumbled the ball and Justin Jones recovered to give Chicago a bonus possession. After a quick Fields hit to Darnell Mooney, the Bears extended their halftime lead to a field goal and never looked back.

The game of the game

Fields and Khalil Herbert deserve credit for their hand-eye coordination on a screen pass TD through traffic, but Jaquan Brisker, the Bears’ starting safety, showed serious jump and hands on his pick of Mac Jones early:

What is expected next?

The Bears (3-4) will hit the road for a Week 8 showdown with the Cowboys (5-2), who defeated the Lions in Dak Prescott’s first game on Sunday. The Patriots (3-4), meanwhile, are now in the basement of the AFC East and will face the surging Jets (5-2), who beat the Broncos for their fourth straight win in Week 7.

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