The Chicago Bears shocked the football world on Monday Night Football. They trounced the Patriots 33-14 in Foxborough at Gillette Stadium. But what are some of the key factors that actually led the Bears to win? Here are the three things I thought led the Bears to their best win since 2018.
1. Offensive Playcalling
Head Coach Matt Eberflus wanted to use the mini bye week to evaluate everyone on the team. That includes players and coaches. The Bears biggest weakness through 6 games had been the offense. Justin Fields was struggling to read the field and was also not trusting those around him (I.E. offensive linemen and pass catchers).
This game, a switch flipped for Fields.
Fields looked comfortable. He looked poised. But most importantly, he looked like he was having fun while playing freely. He completed 5 passes of 15+ yards, an improvement from previous weeks. The offensive line still didn’t have a great game pass blocking. Getsy had a plan to get around that. He called 12 designed QB runs for about 75 yards and that kept the Patriots pass rush somewhat off balance when a pass play was called.
Justin Fields had an interesting quote after the game while on the WBBM Radio Postgame show with Mark Grote.
“It just brings another whole element to our offense, stealing some plays from the Ravens”, Fields said.
The Bears would be wise to continue stealing plays/gameplans from teams who’ve had successful offensive games against their opponent, especially heading into a game against the Cowboys defense, which is headlined by star Linebacker Micah Parsons. They should look at the Eagles gameplan from against the Cowboys from week 6. Micah Parsons was taken out of the game with the use of RPO’s that were designed to do the opposite of what Parsons was expecting.
2. The Performance from the Rookie Class
The Bears rookie class has been heavily crucified. The main reason is because it doesn’t have a certain player: Steelers WR George Pickens. Many thought he was exactly what the Bears needed on offense to help Justin Fields and be a perfect compliment to Darnell Mooney.
That doesn’t mean that the Bears rookie class has been coming on strong and playing really well.
Cornerback Kyler Gordon has been starting to develop into a really solid number 2 Corner opposite of star Corner Jaylon Johnson. He got his first interception of his career off of Quarterback Bailey Zappe in the 4th quarter of Monday’s game. After a rocky first 3 games, he’s come into his own in terms of his coverage. He also is a great open field tackler. That’s been true since game one.
Safety Jaquan Brisker also had his first Interception of his career. He got his against Quarterback Mac Jones on an impressive one handed grab. I’m sure it felt good for Brisker to get it when he got it, against Jones. A few plays prior, Mac Jones slid after scrambling for a gain, and appeared to lift his leg and deliberately strike Brisker in the groin. Brisker looks the part, and also looks to be the future of the defense with Jaylon Johnson, especially if Roquan Smith isn’t extended by General Manager Ryan Poles.
Left Tackle Braxton Jones has definitely taken his fair share of lumps. However, he had his best game as a pro against the Patriots. He only allowed two pressures against a very solid Patriots defensive front. He also was a very important part of the Khalil Herbert touchdown. Jones got down field and wiped out Patriots Defensive Back Jalen Mills, who looked to have a free path to tackling Herbert until Jones came in and took him to the ground, allowing Herbert to break free for the Touchdown.
3. Effort and Execution for all 4 Quarters
It sounds obvious. But this is something the Bears have been missing all year. They finally came out and played a complete 60 minute football game for the first time this year. They came out hot. They scored on their first drive, which they actually have done a decent job of this season. The 2nd quarter is usually a bit rough for the Bears. It looked like it was heading that way again when Patriots rookie Quarterback Bailey Zappe came into the game. The Bears gave up two very easy scoring drives in Zappe’s first 2 series. That was the end of ‘Zappe hour” in New England, though. The Patriots never sustained a drive the rest of the night, and there were multiple forced turnovers by the Bears defense.
The offense as I said scored on their first drive, but the overall box score of this game is telling. They scored 10 points in the first quarter, 10 more points in the 2nd Quarter, 6 points in the third quarter, and 7 points in the fourth quarter. They never took their foot off the gas pedal.
The Bears can win games every week despite their lack of talent if they play with effort and execution, and that’s clear. They’ve done it against 2 teams who appear to be better than them on paper in San Francisco and New England.