‘Monday Night Football’ Doesn’t Go As Planned For the New England Patriots
The Chicago Bears wanted a break as they took the field to face the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football (MNF). They got it in an unexpected way, forcing bettors to throw the book on betting strategies out the window.
The Bears scored their first road victory of the NFL season on Monday, defeating the Patriots 33-14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Bears quarterback Justin Fields finished with 179 yards on 13-of-21 passing as Chicago snapped a three-game road losing streak.
Chicago improved to 3-4 with the win, having gone into the game as outside underdogs. New England fell to 3-4 on a dismal, foggy night for Bill Belichick’s team.
Pats Can’t Find the End Zone
The buildup to Monday’s game was dominated by discussion around the Patriots’ quarterbacks. Starter Mac Jones was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sprained ankle, while Bailey Zappe deftly filled his shoes in his absence.
However, Jones, who allegedly tried to kick Bears safety Jaquan Brisker in the groin, left the game early in the second quarter. That was after an interception by Brisker, revenge for the kicking incident.
The Pats were already trailing 10–0 following a rushing touchdown by Fields and a field goal by Cairo Santos. The exit by Jones paved the way for the return of Zappe and suddenly, there was a major shift in momentum as he led New England for back-to-back scoring drives to take a 14-10 lead.
Intercepted by Kyler Gordon!
Another rookie coming up big for the Bears @kyler_gordon
: #CHIvsNE on ESPN
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/2HQeNdaFPc pic.twitter.com/85NWycSJxQ
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2022
That was the only time the pendulum swung in the Pats’ direction. Chicago reasserted itself, with Fields finding wide receiver Khalil Herbert for a 25-yard reception and TD. On a subsequent drive, Santos then added a field goal to make it 20-14 for the Bears at halftime.
Two more field goals by Santos in the third quarter put the Bears up 26-14, with New England unable to respond offensively. Then, running back David Montgomery added a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to seal Chicago’s victory.
The loss was doubly disappointing for Belichick. He takes any defeat personally, but the Bears’ win kept him from becoming only the second coach with the most wins in NFL history.
Belichick will remain tied for at least one more week with the late George Halas – the founder and a former head coach of the Bears – with 324 wins. Don Shula continues in first place with 347 wins.
MNF Breaks Betting Rules
Heading into MNF, everything about it screamed Patriots. The Bears’ recent performances and losses going up against what should have been a stronger team kept Chicago from getting a lot of support from oddsmakers.
The Bears have struggled, but the offense has still been able to move the ball. It’s because of this that the game was expected to beat the over/under, but that failed, as well.
DraftKings and all other sportsbooks had the Pats as the clear winner. 88% of the wagers and 85% of the money backed New England at DraftKings, according to data analyst Cassie Buontempo.
The other 12% who went for the Bears made out like bandits, but the entire betting world took notice. The Bears face the Dallas Cowboys (5-2) next in an important NFC battle, while the Pats will look to cut their losses against the 5-2 New York Jets.
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