It was a game of contrasting strategies where the Bears won because they had a far superior rushing game compared to the Patriots.
This game also marked the return of the home team’s QB Mac Jones, who was coming from a three-week injury layoff following a high ankle sprain he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3.
Let’s look at the key highlights from the MNF Game:
1) Mac Jones’ loses his quarterback spot in the return game
The second-year quarterback was expected to play out the entirety of his comeback-from-injury game but it was not what actually happened. Jones only played the first quarter, completing 50% of his passes (3/6) for 13 yards but also threw an interception. He rushed thrice with the ball for 24 yards and could not score a single point in the first quarter. He was replaced by QB Bailey Zappe after the first Patriots’ drive in the second quarter, who went on to play the rest of the game.
2) Bailey Zappe’s contrasting performances from the second to fourth quarter
After getting the nod to replace returning QB Mac Jones in the 2nd Quarter, Zappe played exceptionally in the second quarter. He threw a 30-yard pass to WR Jakobi Meyers who had a spinning catch and then bounced on the ground on his way to the Bears’ endzone. In just the next drive, he gave the ball to RB Rhamondre Stevenson who rushed for a TD. All of this happened in a span of four minutes.
But it turned out to be a completely different second half, as the young QB threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter in the wake of a comeback, but time was almost up by that time. He ended the game with 14/22 from passing for 185 yards.
3) Bears’ running game makes it a one-sided affair
Chicago Bears opted to run the football more than they wished to pass as they had a dominating game at rushing, finishing with 243 rushing yards for two TDs. Both of the team’s leading RBs, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert rushed for exactly 62 yards with the former scoring a rushing TD while the latter received a quick pass from Fields and ran into the endzone.
4) Weather impacts the game
Having a better rushing attack proved in favor of the Bears on a night where passing the ball was proving difficult for both the quarterbacks. But the Bears dominated the Patriots in the rushing category with 243 to just 70. Head coach Bill Belichick decided to pass the ball more and this led to three interceptions for the team.
5) Bears’ unexpected strong performance
Chicago Bears had a three-game losing streak, having lost to the Washington Commanders at home last week. They only scored seven points in that game and scoring 33 on Monday was very unexpected. They also had a great defensive night, bouncing back from a terrible second quarter, restricting the Patriots team to just 14 points, all of which were scored in that quarter only.