Justin Fields led five straight scoring streaks and the Bears outscored the New England Patriots 33-14 in front of a national television audience on Monday night. Here’s what you need to know:
3 moments that mattered
1. Ball game: Linebacker Roquan Smith intercepted an angled pass from Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter to cap off a dominating effort. Cornerback Kyler Gordon then had another late interception. In front of a national audience, the Bears seemed much more game-ready than coach Bill Belichick’s team — a rare phrase to type.
2. On a streak: With 12:13 left in the fourth quarter, running back David Montgomery capped off another scoring streak with a 1-yard touchdown to make it 33-14. The touchdown was the Bears’ fifth straight offensive possession that ended in scoring after an interception by Fields.
3. Dynamic swing: The Bears’ hot start was snuffed out midway through the second quarter with the Patriots taking a 14-10 lead, but Fields responded with a 25-yard touchdown to running back Khalil Herbert with less than two minutes left. to play. The Patriots possession that followed, the Bears recovered a fumble. It eventually led to a Cairo Santos field goal to lead the Bears in the half 20-14.
3 things that worked
1. Group effort: From head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s game plan, Fields and a defense that held New England to zero points in the second half and forced several turnovers , we have to extend the credit all around. A win at Foxboro wasn’t very likely, but the Bears played a full range of clean football and deserved to win. It’s a signature win in Eberflus’ first year.
2. Improvisation: Fields’ athleticism and shoving kept a number of offensive drives from backing up or stalling on third-and-long. Getsy also inserted a number of tracks designed to send Fields into space. While Fields still has obvious room for improvement as a passer, his scrambling instincts and awareness as a runner continue to be assets in the evaluation column. Fields had 83 rushing yards.
3. Third down conversions: With five minutes left in the third quarter, Fields had already single-handedly converted five third downs with his legs or on a pass. The Bears finished 11 of 17 on the night. It was clearly a beacon of hope for a team that has struggled to maintain training all season.
3 things that didn’t work
1. Lucas Patrick: We don’t blame him for any injuries. The Bears’ newly revamped starting offensive line got about 13 minutes of action, so it’s hard to get a proper assessment on arguably their prized offseason signing at center when he’s not on the field. After a thumb injury in training camp, Patrick came in and out of the lineup at guard. In his first Bears start at center on Monday, Patrick eventually left with a toe injury.
2. Coming up: This is really nitpicking, a byproduct of so many producers and scoring, but the Bears will want more looks for N’Keal Harry. Harry, injury-free, had a catch for 25 yards. It’s a connection they’ll want to warm up to in time, but again, it’s small in Monday night’s big reach.
3. Ball safety: This has been a concern for Fields all season, and he had four fumbles in the win. None of them were recovered by the defense, but it is an area of play that can turn a match in a hurry. Again, he may have played his best game of the season overall, but those moments need to be cleaned up.
The Bears stay on the road and visit the Dallas Cowboys at noon Sunday.