Three Studs, Three Duds From Patriots’ Jarring Loss To Bears

A chaotic night in Foxboro


Oct 24, 2022

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Bears entered Gillette Stadium on Monday as 8.5-point underdogs against the Patriots. They left town with a convincing 33-14 victory.

Quarterback Justin Fields put together a career night for Chicago, which racked up 390 yards of total offense against New England. Fields racked up 179 yards and a touchdown with one pick through the air while adding 82 yards and a score on 14 carries. Chicago went 11-for-18 on third downs, including a handful of huge gains.

It was a disappointing, ugly showing from a Patriots defense that looked like one of the NFL’s best through six weeks.

As for New England’s offense, it had a chaotic, baffling night against a decidedly average Bears defense. Mac Jones got the start at quarterback after a three-game absence and was benched after three drives, the last of which saw the sophomore quarterback throw an awful interception. With Patriots fans calling for Bailey Zappe, Bill Belichick acquiesced and put the rookie into the game. Zappe immediately led the Patriots on consecutive touchdown-scoring drives to give New England a 14-10 lead but did little the rest of the game as he and the offense got shut out in the second half.

When the dust settled, Jones was 3-of-6 for 13 yards and an interception while Zappe was 14-of-22 for 185 yards and a touchdown to go along with two picks. The Patriots dropped to 3-4 with the loss while the Bears improved to 3-4 with the victory.

Here are three studs and three duds for the Patriots from a rough night in Foxboro:

LB Matthew Judon
It’s scary to think about how New England’s defense would’ve looked in this game without Judon. The stud edge rusher was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half, registering 2.5 sacks, five pressures and two tackles for loss. He also tipped a ball that resulted in an interception for Myles Bryant. Judon finished the game with four tackles and is playing at an All-Pro level.

WR DeVante Parker
Finished with 68 yards on three catches, including an unreal 43-yarder in the second quarter. Parker isn’t a burner and doesn’t gain much separation, but his ability on 50-50 balls is impressive and his big-play potential adds a needed level of explosiveness to the Patriots offense. He needs to be involved on a more consistent basis.

QB Bailey Zappe (in the first half)
“Zappe Fever” was in full swing during the first half as the rookie gave New England a lead with Jones standing on the sideline. His throw to Parker was a thing of beauty, and Zappe did a good job hitting open receivers and staying poised in the pocket. His play really deteriorated in the second half, though.

Honorable mentions: None

LT Trent Brown
A dreadful night for the usually-excellent left tackle. Brown was called for four penalties (two holdings, one false start and one tripping) though two were offset by penalties on the Bears. He was especially poor early in the game and played a significant role in Jones and the offense getting off to a slow start. This marks two straight bad performances from Brown, who must do better going forward.

Run defense
New England’s front seven followed up a great showing against the Cleveland Browns with an absolute dud against the Bears, who amassed 243 yards on the ground. In addition to Fields’ 83 yards, veteran David Montgomery and second-year back Khalil Herbert each posted 62 yards with the former scoring a touchdown.

QB Mac Jones/Bailey Zappe (in the second half)
It wasn’t all his fault, and there’s a case to be made that Belichick shouldn’t even have played Jones in this game. But the sophomore quarterback wasn’t good when he was on the field, with his second-quarter interception being a particularly egregious miscue. Zappe was equally bad in the second half, throwing two interceptions and missing a handful of open receivers. The QB controversy is real, though Zappe’s second-half performance probably caused him to lose any ground he gained during the second quarter.

Honorable mentions: Special teams (again), Jake Bailey, secondary, Rhamondre Stevenson, Jahlani Tavai

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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