New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (9) celebrates after the team defeated the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Week 7 MNF: Bears v. Patriots Preview

Week 7 of Monday Night Football kicks off with the Chicago Bears facing the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium at 8:15 p.m.

The Patriots had a solid win 38-15 in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns. However, they are last in the AFC East with a 3-3 record and will look for a win to push their standings.

On the other hand, the Bears fell short to the Washington Commanders 12-7 after missing a crucial touchdown with less than a minute to go. This allowed the Commanders to snap their four-game losing streak, and the Bears are 2-4 going into Week 7.

The Patriots Strength In Defense

The Patriots have displayed strengths in their defense since the beginning of this season. Their pass defense has a 81.1 rating with a 58.6% completion rate and 6.7 YPA. Since the matchup against the Ravens in Week 3, the Patriots’ defense managed to hold opponents to a minuscule 67.5 quarterback rating with a 53% completion rate, seven sacks and four interceptions.

Their pass rush has also been efficient with 17 total sacks so far. In Week 6, their pass rush had four sacks and eight quarterback hits.

With Mac Jones out due to an ankle injury, rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe stepped in. Zappe had the best game yet in Week 6 as he threw for 309 yards with two touchdowns with a 24/34 completions rate. Also, Zappe has a low pressure rate of 14.7%.

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson has also been detrimental on the Patriot’s offensive end. Stevenson is averaging 5.1 YPC this season. In Week 6, he had 76 yards, 4.0 YPC and two touchdowns to contribute to their win.

The Bears Need To Focus On Their Run Game

The Bears’ run game proved an offensive strength in Week 6 with quarterback Justin Fields, running back Khalil Herbert and running back David Montgomery. Fields had 12 carries, 88 yards and 7.3 YPC. Herbert had seven carries, 75 yards and 10.7 YPC. Montgomery had 15 carries, 67 yards and 4.5 YPC.

However, Fields’ passing has been a serious weakness for the Bears as he has one of the lowest passer rating, 72.7, in the league this season. His completion rate is 54.8% and he has been sacked 23 times, resulting in a high 40% pressure rate.

On the defensive end, the Bears’ pass defense has a rating of 79.9. It averages four touchdowns, five interceptions and 6.4 YPA, forcing more interceptions than touchdowns. Cornerback Kindle Vildor will be important for the Bears’ defensive end. He has a 75.0 rate against and 54.5 completion percentage allowed. Even so, defensive end Robert Quinn has to contribute more as he is only averaging 1.0 sack per game.

Coverage of the game begins at Oct. 24, 8 p.m. at ESPN 98.1FM & 850AM.

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