Week 7 of the NFL comes to a close with a duel between two teams without great success so far. The New England Patriots (3-3) host the Chicago Bears (2-4) as both struggle to figure out who they are this year.
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields winds up for a pass against the Washington Commanders. The Bears face a tough opponent in the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. (Image: Getty Images)
The Patriots, still led by Bill Belichick, are still trying to develop a rhythm without QB Tom Brady, and have found answers in the unknown rookie Bailey Zappe. A fourth-round draft pick who gained minutes from the injuries of Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer, he has answered the call, giving the Pats victories against the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.
The Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace last January, replacing him with former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. He’s off to a slow start, racking up three straight losses heading into Monday Night Football.
Always Ready For a Show
The two teams are in low positions in the standings; the Pats are in fourth place in the AFC East, while the Bears are in third place in the NFC North. However, they always put on a good show when they meet on the field.
New England Patriots
Courtesy of Caesars
The last time these two teams met, on October 21 of last year, New England won, 38-31. Both offenses were on fire, repeatedly running through the defensive lines on both sides.
It’s a new year with different teams, and the Bears, led by QB Justin Fields, are having problems on offense and defense. They’re struggling to figure out who they want to be, only putting up seven points in their Thursday Night Football loss to the Washington Guardians in Week 6.
The Patriots, on the other hand, defeated the Cleveland Browns 38-15 in a match that showed that Jones is back after his ankle injury. New England has overwhelming strength on offense and defense, despite looking at a long list of potential injury outages today.
With Zappe in control, New England has had a couple of nice wins. The rookie has 51 completions for 596 yards and four touchdowns, but his success has come against weaker teams.
Facing the Green Bay Packers, he couldn’t produce, although he did help push the game into OT. If Jones is out today, or if Zappe is brought in, the first-year QB needs to find the moves that landed him with the Pats.
Pats Ready To Move Up
The odds tilt heavily in favor of the Patriots since they have picked up two straight wins – the Bears are at the complete opposite end. However, Chicago’s defense has repeatedly shown that it has the potential to be great, if only it can get organized.
There’s not a lot of value in backing the Pats as favorites on the moneyline, even if Jones or Zappe turns up the heat. However, taking them on the spread has strength. Unless the Bears pull off a miracle, the Patriots should run away with the points.
The over/under is hovering around 40 or so, and taking the over has potential. It has hit in five of the last six games between these two and, even although the Bears offense slips, it still puts up the points.
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