Bears throttle Patriots in primetime

Bears throttle Patriots in primetime — The offense came alive on Monday night, racking up 390 total yards, while the defense generated four takeaways in a dominant 33-14 road win over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

The Bears (3-4) snapped a three-game skid with their first win over the Patriots (3-4) since Dec. 10, 2000 and first ever win in Foxborough.
Quarterback Justin Fields led the offense with an impressive performance both through the air and on the ground.

Fields completed 13 of 21 passes for 179 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to running back Khalil Herbert. The second-year pro also rushed for a team-high 82 yards and a 3-yard TD.

“I think that creates an issue sometimes for the defense, depending on what defense they’re in,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “Certainly when you have a quarterback that has the designed runs with the run-pass off of it, then also doing some things just to have the ability to scramble and make first downs, I think that’s a big piece and it’s hard to defend those guys. We’ve all seen them around the league and Justin did a nice job of executing today.”

Running back David Montgomery added the team’s third touchdown with a 1-yard score and kicker Cairo Santos was a perfect 4-for-4 with field goals from 42, 23, 38, and 50 yards.

While Patriots backup QB Bailey Zappe initially troubled the defense with back-to-back touchdown drives in the second quarter, they held New England scoreless in the second half. Interceptions by safety Jaquan Brisker, linebacker Roquan Smith, and cornerback Kyle Gordon along with a fumble recovery by defensive tackles Justin Jones shutting down the New England offense.

“First of all, the one Brisker had was pretty amazing,” Eberflus said. “I mean that was a really good play. For him to have that concentration to get his feet in bounds, that was excellent. Then really the other two interceptions were tips.

There were some tips there, but the one that Gordon had, I think it was maybe tipped twice. He had to tip it to himself there. Then the return, he took it up the sideline, did a nice job with that. But that fosters confidence, the ability to take the ball away. I think that’s a big part of winning football and [Gordon] did a nice job.”

Zappe played all but the first three drives and completed 14 of 22 passes for 185 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson scored the Patriots’ second TD with a 4-yard run.
The Bears went up 3-0 after Santos hit a 42-yard field goal on the team’s first possession.

Fields got the drive going with back-to-back first down completions. On third-and-4, the quarterback rolled right and found receiver Darnell Mooney for a 20-yard gain, then threw an 11-yard pass to receiver Equanimeous St. Brown on the following play.

Fields rushed for a 3-yard touchdown on a designed run play to put the Bears up 10-0 with 2:11 left in the first quarter. Fields came up big on third-and-6, scrambling out of the pocket to find St. Brown for a 19-yard completion. On first down, receiver N’Keal Harry recorded his first reception of the season—against his former team—for a 14-yard gain. On second-and-2, Montgomery pushed his way to the Patriots 3, using a spin move to gain an extra five yards after getting the first down.

“I thought the [designed runs] were good,” Fields said. “I thought they brought a whole different element to our offense. So I think we executed that well and there were definitely some explosive [plays] in the designed runs, for sure.”

Brisker recorded his first career interception on the next drive, leaping high into the air and making an incredible one-handed snag of a Mac Jones pass intended for tight end Jonnu Smith near the sideline at the Chicago 21 before returning it to the 27. However, the offense was unable to capitalize on the takeaway.

Following Brisker’s interception, the Patriots brought in Zappe, who quickly cut the Bears’ lead to 10-7 with a 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jakobi Meyers. Zappe orchestrated the 55-yard scoring drive with just four plays. On third-and-5, Zappe found Stevenson for a 20-yard completion then connected with a wide-open Meyers for the score with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half.

The Patriots took a 14-10 lead with 6:04 remaining in the half, as they capitalized on their first takeaway with a 4-yard TD run by Stevenson. Cornerback Myles Bryant picked off Fields’ pass intended for Mooney, which was tipped at the line of scrimmage by linebacker Matthew Judon. Bryant intercepted the ball at the New England 39 then returned it to midfield.

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