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

Jones, who was coming back from a sprained ankle, didn’t even make it through a quarter and a half before Belichick benched him after a bad second-quarter interception. But Zappe’s energy only did so much for the Pats after back-to-back scoring drives to start his night. New England didn’t score its 10th first down of the contest until deep in the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — an accidental handoff to Jakobi Meyers and fumbles by Roquan Smith and Kyler Gordon — allowed the Bears to literally walk away with the win .

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Here are some takeaways from Monday’s big Bears upset:

Because 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 young QB to rest on his feet, and the signal-caller did his part, showing extra effort and elite vision on designed carries to counter a rushing attack with tough touches from David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit enough shots downfield, including a crucial late layup to Cole Kmet, to keep the Patriots in position. 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 just that.

Matt Eberflus’ defense was also great for much of the night. McJones’ pick off of Jaquan Brisker forced a New England QB turnover, and after Zappe’s initial spark, his unit worked to effectively eliminate the Pats’ typically potent one-two punch of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, the who combined for just 40 yards. in the fewest minutes of action. Roquan Smith’s heads-up pick off Zappe in the fourth sealed the deal, and Kyler Gordon’s INT just scrapped it.

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Why the Patriots lost

Outside of Zappe’s first two drives in relief of Jones, who continued to stand, helmet on, on the sideline as if awaiting an instant call to reenter the game, they could not move the ball at any pace, nor could they stop the Bears ground game tripleheader. The switch QB initially looked like a genius, with rookie Zappe bringing him down the field with confidence and DeVante Parker making plays for the young signal-caller. But three-pointers doomed the unit afterward, and by the end, Zappe’s command from the pocket was all but gone. His wrong choices erased any possibility of a possible comeback. It didn’t help that the line couldn’t pave the way for any serious momentum from either Stevenson or Harris all night.

Defensively, the Pats’ uninspiring night was perhaps even more surprising. Despite more blitzes from Matthew Judon (2.5 sacks) off the edge, they had no answers to hold Fields when the QB broke outside the pocket. And their tackling left little to be desired in the red zone, where Montgomery and Herbert began to step up.

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Turning point

Trailing 17-14 with just 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to regain the lead by driving to their 39. recovered to give Chicago a possession bonus. 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 props for their hand-eye coordination on a screen-pass TD through traffic, but Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker showed serious leaps and hands on Mac Jones’ pick early:

What’s next

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



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