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 for their third straight win with Mack Jones back in the lineup after a three-game absence. They left with freshman Bailey Sappé. Zappe’s approach briefly fired up the crowd at Gillette Stadium, with New England’s passing attack stealing the show from the multi-sport premiership quarterback as Fields fell 33-14 in prime time.

Jones, who was returning from a high ankle sprain, 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 did a lot for the Pats after scoring back-to-back runs to start his night. New England didn’t get its 10th first down of the game until deep into the fourth quarter, and three turnovers — a fumble to Jakobi Meyers, and interceptions to Roquan Smith and Kyler Gordon — allowed the Bears to score. To literally run away with the win.

Here are some takeaways from Monday night’s Big Bears upset:

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Why did the bears win?

They finally figured out how to put Fields in a position to win. Like the Giants with Daniel Jones, Chicago let its young QB lean on his legs, and the signal-caller did his part, displaying elite vision designed to speed up a rushing attack that featured tight touches from David Montgomery. Khalil Herbert. In between, he hit just enough downfield to keep the Patriots on their toes. The Bears, simply put, are built to win old-school football, and on Monday, they allowed their best player — the QB — to help them do that.

Matt Eberflus’ defense also came up big most of the night. Jaquan Brisker’s Mack Jones pick forced New England’s QB change, and after Zappe’s initial fumble, his unit managed to eliminate the Pats’ usually potent duo of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris for just 40 yards. To the waning minutes of action. Roquan Smith’s layup to sack Zappe in the fourth sealed the deal, and Kyler Gordon’s own INT kept it at bay.

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Why did the Patriots lose?

Standing outside of Zappe’s first two drives, they couldn’t move the ball or stop him with any rhythm, as if he was waiting for a momentary call to re-enter the game, relieving the helmeted Jones. The Bears’ three-headed ground game. The QB switch looked smart early on, with rookie Zappe confidently sticking it to the ground and DeVante Parker creating plays for the young signal-caller. But three-and-outs later decimated the unit, and by the end, Sappé’s command of the pocket was all but gone. His bad choices erased any chance of a comeback. It didn’t help that Stevenson or Harris couldn’t pave the way for any serious momentum at the line all night.

Defensively, the Pats’ lackluster night was perhaps even more surprising. Despite more flashes off the edge from Matthew Juden (2.5 sacks), they had no answers to contain the field after the QB broke outside the pocket. Montgomery and Herbert left little to be desired, their tackling in the red zone fueling their forward drive.

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The turning point

Trailing 17-14 with just 1:32 left in the first half, the Patriots had a chance to build a 39-point lead of their own. But Justin Jones took a catch from Zappe to Meyers and put the ball down. Recovered to give Chicago a bonus. After a quick field goal to Darnell Mooney, the Bears took their lead before halftime on a field goal and never looked back.

the game

Fields and Khalil Herbert deserve props for their hand-eye coordination on screen-pass TDs through traffic, but Bears’ rookie safety Jaquan Brisker looked serious early on his Mack Jones pick:

What happens 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 on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Patriots (3-4), now in the AFC East cellar, will take on the surging Jets (5-2), who beat the Broncos in Week 7 for their fourth straight win.


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