Justin Fields, Bears run all over Patriots as Bailey Zappe magic runs out


By Kevin Fishbain, Adam Jahns and Chad Graff

The Chicago Bears took down the New England Patriots 33-14 in Foxboro on Monday night. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Bears scored 23 unanswered points after going down 14-10 and went 11-of-18 on third down to record their highest point total since 2020
  • Bailey Zappe replaced Patriots starting quarterback Mac Jones early in the second quarter and led New England to back-to-back touchdowns on his first two drives
  • Both teams move to 3-4 on the season. New England now sits in last place in the AFC East

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Complementary Bears football

So often over recent seasons (and weeks), the Bears had been the butt of jokes for their primetime performance. No one outside Halas Hall seemed to expect an upset, and the Bears seemed prime to extend their losing streak.

Then they marched into Foxboro with a second-year quarterback and had a season-high in points scored. Justin Fields made plays with his arms and legs, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert were an electric 1-2 punch, Matt Eberflus’ opportunistic defense was just that with three takeaways, and Cairo Santos led an all-around special-teams effort. Complementary football at its finest when the Bears needed it most. – fishbain

Breakout performance for OC Getsy

A great night for quarterback Fields was a breakout performance for Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. His play-calling helped Fields look like the best player on the field, from designed runs at the right times to changing the launch points often for his young quarterback. The Bears were very successful on third downs because of what Fields and Getsy did together. – jahns


Assessing Bears QB Justin Fields’ performance, development: A roundtable discussion

Physical Bears defense

The Bears’ defense was physical all night. There were several individual performances to feel good about. It started with linebacker Roquan Smith but three rookies also stood out.

Safety Jaquan Brisker and cornerback/nickel back Kyler Gordon, the Bears’ two second-round picks, both made interceptions. Rookie defensive end Dominique Robinson, a fifth-round pick, was also noticeable all game. He deflected the pass that led to Smith’s interception. – jahns

Zappe magic doesn’t last

Zappe’s first-half emergence was magical. He replaced Jones and promptly led back-to-back touchdown drives. But the magic didn’t last. The team’s offense struggled in the second half, and the issues there will renew questions about who the starting quarterback is. Jones didn’t play well in his return from a high-ankle sprain, but Zappe struggled as the game wore on and threw an interception in the fourth quarter. The Patriots’ next game is a massive one in New York against the Jets. – Graff

Fields runs all over Patriots defense

Bill Belichick’s defense normally shreds young quarterbacks. But that’s not what happened Monday night. Fields ran all over the Patriots, making a number of plays with his legs and via designed runs. And the Bears were especially good on third down, dominating the type of situational football that Belichick typically prides himself on. The Bears’ offense had struggled to put up points all season, but had no such issue in New England. – Graff

go deep


Howe: Why Mac Jones’ alleged ‘attitude problem’ is a mischaracterization of Patriots QB

New England run game held at bay

The Patriots entered Monday Night Football as one of the best running teams in the NFL. But against the Bears, they couldn’t get anything going. After three quarters, Jones was still the team’s leading rusher with 24 yards – and Jones was pulled after three drives. It’s hard for any quarterback (let alone a rookie) to play when the offense is so one-dimensional. – Graff

Highlight of the night

Stat of the game

Fields becomes just one of two players in the last 30 seasons to have 100+ passing yards, 1+ pass TD, 70+ rush yards and 1+ rush TD in an opening half. Russell Wilson completed the feat twice in Week 15 of the 2012 season and Week 5 of the 2014 season.

What they’re saying

Belichick told reporters after Monday’s game that Jones’ benching was not performance-related. The Patriots coach said the plan was always to play both quarterbacks, with Jones’ health being “a factor” in that decision.

“We just finished the game,” Belichick said when asked to name a starter.

“I knew what the plan was…There are no hard feelings or anything,” Jones said in his postgame news conference.

Asked whether he thinks he’ll start against the Jets on Sunday, Jones said: “I guess when Sunday comes we’ll know.”

Required reading

–Assessing Bears QB Justin Fields’ performance, development: A roundtable discussion

–Howe: Why Mac Jones’ alleged ‘attitude problem’ is a mischaracterization of Patriots QB

(Photo: Paul Rutherford / USA Today)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.