Patriots get pantsed by Justin Fields, Bears in embarassing Monday Night Football loss

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What in the world was that? Seriously.

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1st & Foxborough
Bonus: Did the Bears just give the Patriots some bulletin board material?
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Was it the curse of the silver pants, which the Patriots hadn't worn since their last game with Tom Brady at quarterback -- coincidentally also on a wet, foggy night in Foxborough?

Was it the Bears being better than we thought? Or the Patriots being worse?

Was it just a clunker that everyone should forget about and just move onto next week?

Whatever it was, the Patriots got embarrassed on national television by a bad Chicago Bears team from top to bottom and willingly set both of their quarterbacks up to fail in the process.

Let's get to the big takeaways from one of the weirdest football games of 2022.

Patriots officially have a quarterback controversy -- and not in a good way.

Bill Belichick apparently wasn't lying when he said both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe would play Monday night. But no one saw it unfolding this way..

After a dismal offensive start (not all Mac Jones' fault) and a terrible interception from Jones (definitely his fault), Belichick and the coaching staff made the switch to Zappe in the second quarter to the delight of the crowd. Just moments later, the roar got even louder when Zappe hit Jakobi Meyers for a 30-yard touchdown to get the Patriots within a score.

Then, if possible, the din got even MORE deafening when Zappe dropped a 43-yard dime down the left sideline to DeVante Parker to get New England into the red zone. Rhamondre Stevenson punched it in moments later to put the Patriots on top 14-10.

Those were the only 14 points the Patriots would score all night.

A combination of the Bears chipping away and Zappe finally coming back to earth with a thud, throwing two second-half interceptions as things unraveled for the Patriots' offense in an unbelievable way.

For example: until Rhamondre Stevenson gained a few yards late in the fourth quarter, Jones, who got benched in the second quarter, led the Patriots with 24 rushing yards on three carries. Against one of the worst rushing defenses in football.

Without the run game to protect Zappe and create play-action opportunities, the rookie quarterback was exposed.

Come to think of it, the whole unit was.

Defense fails against Justin Fields.

The only way the Bears were going to beat the Patriots, aside from shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers, was to let Fields run all over them.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what they did.

The Bears threw the Patriots a curveball by designing runs for Fields, which they've rarely done this season, and it gashed New England's defense in key spots in the first half. To make things worse, pass-rushers routinely allowed Fields to escape pockets either up the middle or outside, including a back-breaking conversion on 3rd-and-17 before the end of the half to allow the Bears to kick a field goal.

Chicago clearly watched the tape from how Lamar Jackson ran all over New England in Week 3, and the Patriots didn't have an answer for it.

Belichick was supposed to have the answers for Fields in the passing game as well, but that didn't prove true either.

Fields, who came into the game with some of the worst statistics in the game, threw for 179 yards and a touchdown in addition to his 82 yards on the ground. New England got one pick off of him on a tipped ball by Matthew Judon that settled into Myles Bryant's hand, but Bears receivers were too often running wide open down the field for a team that has struggled as much as it has to move the ball through the air.

The No. 11 overall pick from last season looked like the best player on the field with the help he got from his offense, and that's a very bad look for the Patriots.

This Patriots team is in last place for a reason.

I'm sorry, losing to the Chicago Bears at home in primetime is just not acceptable, and it doesn't happen without failure at all levels.

Four penalties on Trent Brown and an anemic performance on the ground against one of the worst run defenses in football. For God's sake, Mac Jones led the Patriots in rushing well into the fourth quarter -- with 24 yards on the ground.

Giving up 32 points to a team that came into the game 30th in points scored and worst passing attack in football.

Jake Bailey shanking punts and allowing big returns by a Bears punt return unit that doesn't feature a return man who can catch the football cleanly.

Belichick talked the Bears up in an epic monologue this week usually reserved for teams it feels like the Patriots should beat down. Well, New England made Chicago look every bit as good as he made them sound.

After this, can we just assume the Patriots will beat anyone from here on out? The Jets, despite losing two of their best offensive players and having a young quarterback playing like a headless chicken, have to be favored next week. Even the Colts and their putrid quarterback situation can't be taken lightly now.

The Patriots looked every bit the last place team they are at the moment, and everyone saw it.

Podcast Episode
1st & Foxborough
A blast from the past with Vito Abbinante ahead of Pats-Bears
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Featured Image Photo Credit: Bob Breidenbach-USA TODAY NETWORK