Bill Belichick tries to pass George Halas on the all time wins left in the NFL in this Monday Night yawner when the Chicago Bears travel to New England to take on the Patriots. Mac Jones is back. Justin Fields is terrible. Your crack team of downtrodden analysts provide their chintzy takes on the Patriots defense and the Bears nonsense. Read below if you like money.
Chicago Bears at New England Patriots (-8.5) (o/u 40)
Kickoff: 8:15 pm EST on ESPN
Da Bears are a Da Dud
Jack: The Bears are terrified to throw the ball. They rank last in the NFL in total passing yards (737), last in DVOA for passing (-16.3%), and last in percentage of pass plays called in the game (41%). The team doesn’t trust Justin Fields, and for good reason. He misses his hot reads, holds onto the ball too quickly, can’t find the open receiver, and is a liability with the football.
What they’d rather do is run. Khalil Herbert has been effective in the backfield this year and they complement his skills with David Montgoery. The problem is Montgomery doesn’t do a great job running the ball either. He ranks near the bottom in DYAR for the Bears, which means he’s not very efficient and definitely not as efficient as Herbert. Fields can make move with his legs, but none of this really translates into touchdowns, which is why the Bears rank 28th in red zone touchdown percentage at 46%.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are humming. They won 2 out of the last 3 games with Bailey Zappe and it seems as though breakout rookie QB Mac Jones is back for this game. The Bears defense is middling and the Patriots shouldn’t have too much trouble moving the ball.
The Patriots defense has been great against the pass this year with a terrific secondary, but the team ranks 27th in DVOA in rushing defense.
The Bears know this and they are going to try to exploit it. Belichick is smart enough to adjust and scheme for the running game. Ultimately, Fields is going to have to throw and that’s not going to be a great moment for anyone watching. This game should be slow and ugly. Patriots in a blowout and take the under for good measure. Pick: Bears -8.5. Under Total Points +/- 40.
Frisky in the First Half
Nate: Belichick has long been known for being able to take away a team’s strength and force them to be uncomfortable. This could be especially problematic for a one-dimensional Bears offense.
Look for the Pats to stifle the run and force Fields to throw which is any area he has been terrible at. Not only has he been bad throwing it but he’s getting no help from a horrible OL and receiving corps. These big numbers have been tricky to cover this season.
So I’m just going to take the Pats in the first half here. Pick: First Half, Patriots -4.5.
John: Justin Fields has the worst QB stats since the days of the Abacus. He belongs on someone’s practice squad. Fields vs. the Pats D could get ugly. The Bears just aren’t good enough to compete with anybody that rushes NFL-caliber players. Billy B’s teams get better as the season drudges on. Pick: Patriots -8.5.