What we learned as Fields, Bears run over Patriots on MNF originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears had 11 days to sit and stew on their ugly Week 6 loss to the Washington Commanders. On Monday night in Foxboro, they finally let their frustrations out in a 33-14 drubbing of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy showed some new wrinkles Monday night, utilizing designed quarterback runs and some quick throws to get quarterback Justin Fields more comfortable.
The result? A great performance from the second-year quarterback. Fields went 13-for-21 for 179 yards, one touchdown, and one interception through the air, while adding 82 yards and a score on the ground.
The Bears’ ground game abused the Patriots on their home turf and the defense broke the Bailey Zappe fever that momentarily took over Gillette Stadium in the first half.
It was a thorough, back-alley beating in Foxboro.
The Bears’ rushed for 243 yards while holding the Patriots to 260 total yards on the night.
Here’s what we learned in the Bears’ 33-14 win over the Patriots on Monday night:
The Bears used the mini-bye week to evaluate everything, including their schemes on both sides of the ball.
They dusted off some of their offensive changes Monday night in Foxboro.
On the first drive of the game, the Bears rolled the pocket on third-and-4, and Fields hit Darnell Mooney for a gain of 20. On the ensuing play, the Bears called a naked bootleg that saw Fields roll to the left and find Equanimeous St. Brown for a gain of 11.
That drive stalled out and ended in a field goal.
The bigger improvement was the use of designed quarterback runs. Entering the game, Fields had run the ball 54 times on the season, but only 12 had been by design. Given Fields’ elusiveness and speed, his legs would seem to be an asset that a team lacking overall offensive talent would want to use.
The Bears did that against the Patriots.
In the first half, Fields rushed 10 times for 74 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run that put the Bears up 10-0 in the first quarter.
There was also this ridiculous escape.
On the unofficial count for those 10 runs, six were designed, three were scrambles, and one was a sneak.
Fields also made one of his best plays of the season late in the second quarter. He identified the blitz at the line, audibled to a screen, and then changed his arm angle to hit Khalil Herbert for a 25-yard touchdown.
Those designed runs, as well as the rolled pocket, bootlegs, and changed launching points, all were evidence of offensive evolution for a Bears team that led 20-14 at the break. The Bears went 6-for-9 on third down in the first half.
Whatever the Patriots saw on film in preparing for the Bears’ offense, they didn’t face it in the first half.
The Bears’ offense was more methodical in the second half.
They opened the third quarter with a 10-play, 61-yard drive that ended in a field goal. They followed that up with a 10-play, 46-yard drive that got them three more points courtesy of Cairo Santos’ leg.
The Bears put the final nail in the Patriots’ coffin early in the fourth quarter when David Montgomery scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown to make it 33-14.
Offensive innovations aside, the Bears bullied the Patriots with their rushing attack Monday night.
Chicago rushed for 243 yards and went 11-for-18 on third down in what amounted to a second-half beatdown of Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
Play the HITS
The Bears’ defense has thrived on creating turnovers this season, and the H.I.T.S principle was out in full force during the first half at Gillette Stadium.
Jaquan Brisker made an impressive one-handed interception of Mac Jones early in the second quarter.
The H.I.T.S principle struck again late in the second quarter when defensive tackle Justin Jones recovered a botched handoff between quarterback Bailey Zappe and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.
While the Bears’ defense had issues with Zappe when he entered the game, they quickly solved the rookie.
After Zappe led back-to-back touchdown drives, the Bears’ defense held him to 26 yards on his next three possessions, forcing a fumble and two punts.
But the Bears’ defense couldn’t end the night without one final ode to the H.I.T.S principle.
Leading by 19 midway through the fourth quarter, rookie defensive end Dominique Robinson batted a Zappe pass at the line and linebacker Roquan Smith picked it off.
Rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon finished off the performance with his first career interception late in the fourth quarter.
As good of a night as it was for the Bears’ offense, it was an equally impressive showing for the defense.
The Zappening ends
The Patriots’ offense picked up just 56 total yards in their first three series with Jones at the helm, and trailed 10-0 early in the second quarter.
After Jones was picked off by Brisker, Bill Belichick went to Zappe. The fourth-round rookie immediately injected life into Gillette Stadium and hit Meyers for a 30-yard touchdown on his second pass of the night.
Zappe led a scoring drive on the Patriots’ next possession to erase the 10-0 deficit and give New England a 14-10 lead.
In the first half, Zappe went five-for-six for 109 yards and a touchdown. Jones was just three-for-six for 13 yards and a pick in his three series of work.
But The Zappening was short-live. After leading the Patriots to touchdowns on his first two drives, Zappe’s next three drives ended with a fumble lost and two punts as the Bears led 33-14 early in the fourth quarter.
It was the first time Zappe had trailed by double digits in the NFL and he was ill-equipped to bring them back.
After the Bears pushed the lead to 19, the Bears’ defense made sure The Zappening was over for good.
The Bears picked off the rookie quarterback on each of his final two drives. The first one came when Robinson batted a ball at the line that fluttered into the hands of Smith. The second came when Gordon picked him off on a short throw ticketed for Tyquan Thornton.
Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/chicago-football/bears-observations-justin-fields-leads-33-14-blowout-win-vs-patriots/2976376/