The Patriots were supposed to beat the Bears last night but that is hard to do when you don’t get off the bus and sleep walk your through the first quarter.
Here are seven points on last night’s ugly loss.
1. No showed: Patriots didn’t show up last night. Plain and simple! They played well in the second quarter but they sleep walked through the first quarter and quit in the second half. It was a disappointing performance by a team that looked like they were rounding into form after their last two games.
2. Quarterback controversy: The Patriots started Mac Jones but benched him after his third series when he threw an interception to rookie safety Jaquan Brisker.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Bailey Zappe enters the game and promptly leads the offense on two scoring drives. Zappe ended up playing the rest of the game but was mostly ineffective, throwing two interceptions and having four balls batted down at the line of scrimmage.
I thought the Patriots completely mishandled this situation. Playing both was a mistake. They should have started Zappe and given Mac the extra week to heal. Instead, neither played well and they have a full blown quarterback controversy on their hands.
3. Running quarterbacks are kryptonite: The Patriots inability to stop running quarterbacks reared it’s ugly head again last night after Justin Fields ran all over them. Like Josh Allen last season and Lamar Jackson earlier this season, Fields ran through the Patriots defense like a hot knife through butter. He rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries and had a touchdown. The Patriots inability to stop running quarterbacks isn’t a scheme thing. It’s a talent thing. They don’t have the athletes.
4. Offensive line struggled again: The offensive line reverted to playing like crap. They had played relatively well the past three weeks but they were not good last night. They couldn’t open holes in the run game, Trent Brown committed too many inexcusable penalties early on and they had protection issues. They have plenty to work on this week.
5. Running game ineffective: The Patriots running game was largely ineffective last night. Part of the problem is they fell behind and had to throw but even when the game was close, they couldn’t run the ball. Rhamondre Stevenson did score a rushing touchdown but outside of that, the Patriots couldn’t run the ball.
6. Judon was a force: Matthew Judon was once again a force finishing with four tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 TFL and a pass defended. He was in the Bears backfield routinely last night and made life miserable for Fields. Judon is the Defensive MVP in the league up until this point in the season. He has been worth every penny the Patriots are paying him.
7. Hat tip to the Bears: Give credit where credit is due. Matt Eberflus and his staff had 11 days to get their team ready for this game and they did a great job. The game plan on both sides of the ball was solid and the players bought in. I know it sounds corny but the Bears played inspired. Chicago is not very talented but they are playing hard for Eberflus.