Bears vs Patriots Monday Night Football Picks and Predictions
Chicago Bears vs New England Patriots Monday Night Football Week 7 game on October 24, 2022 at Gillette Stadium at 8:15pm et.
Bears vs Patriots
When: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, October 24, 2022
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
New England Patriots rookie Bailey Zappe may start again at quarterback Monday night. Or he might not.
As incumbent Mac Jones recovers from a high-ankle sprain that has sidelined him since Week 3, perhaps putting him in line for a return, Zappe is only worried about what he can control: his knowledge of New England’s opponent, the visiting Chicago Bears.
“I will study the game plan the same way I would whether I was third string or a starter,” Zappe said. “That’s kind of the mentality I take into it every week. That’s the mentality I’m going to take into this week, so I think that’s going to carry on into the rest of the year.”
New England coach Bill Belichick said Jones could be medically cleared “at any time”; he was a limited participant in practice Thursday. Whether that spells the end of the line for Zappe as starter remains to be seen. Whatever the case, the Patriots (3-3) are grateful for the energy — and success — the fourth-rounder from Western Kentucky has infused.
Since relieving Brian Hoyer in an eventual overtime loss at Green Bay in Week 4, Zappe is 51-for-70 passing for 596 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, leading successive victories over Detroit and Cleveland following the Green Bay game.
“Of course I had a little confidence that I’d be able to make it, but for me it’s still surreal to be in this position and be in the NFL, to be a quarterback in the NFL,” Zappe said.
New England boasts a five-game winning streak against Chicago (2-4) and a 10-3 mark in the series overall.
Belichick enters Monday with 324 career coaching victories (including playoffs), tied with Bears legend George Halas for second place all-time. Don Shula is next with 347.
Chicago has lost three straight since winning two of its first three, with each defeat coming by one possession. The Bears have been idle since opening Week 6 with a 12-7 Thursday night home loss to Washington.
“Like any other team, there are some things to improve,” Chicago cornerback Jaylon Johnson said. “I feel like if we won our close games, I feel like the conversations around this team would be different. But we’ve shot ourselves in the foot these last few games.”
The Bears will aim to correct two notable deficiencies. The defense allows 163 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt, ranked 29th and 24th in the NFL, respectively. Meanwhile, second-year quarterback Justin Fields has been sacked 23 times on 115 pass attempts, or one in every five.
“Pass protection is everybody,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “It’s not only the offensive line. It’s the tight ends, it’s the running backs, it’s the quarterback. So, it’s everybody. Pass protection is always going to be all 11 of them, so we will improve on that.”
Running the ball remains a strength. Fields (5.2 yards per carry) augments a rushing attack led by Khalil Herbert (402 yards) and David Montgomery (246) to give the Bears a ground game that averages 170.8 yards, second in the league.
Chicago faces a New England team coming off a stout defensive effort against Cleveland, limiting the Browns to 70 rushing yards — more than 100 below the team’s season average.
–Field Level Media
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For this Bears vs Patriots Monday Night Football game, I’m on the Patriots First Half Team Total Over 10.5 points (-130).
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