The New England Patriots are heavy favorites going into the Week 7 Monday Night Football clash with the Chicago Bears in Foxborough. New England opens the weekend favored at (-380) odds, and a whopping -8 spread (-110). Chicago (+310) goes into the game as big underdogs, which Bears fans would agree is accurate given their recent performances. Chicago has lost three straight games and only posted a measly seven points against the Washington Commanders last week in a 12-7 loss at home. What can we expect heading into the Week 7 matchup?
New England Set For Three Straight Wins
The breaking news for the New England Patriots this week has been the updated status of Mac Jones’ ankle injury, which he sustained in a Week 3 37-26 loss to the Ravens. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jones expects to be available for the matchup against the Bears. The emergence of rookie third-string QB Bailey Zappe has been a blessing for New England during Mac Jones’ absence and has even raised debate about who should be the starting quarterback going forward.
However, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that Jones is the clear choice over Zappe once he returns from his injury. If his ankle is fully healed, Mac Jones will start against the Bears on Monday Night Football cementing why the Patriots are heavy favorites going into the matchup.
Jones is not the only New England Patriot who will potentially be returning from injury against Chicago. According to Dakota Randall of NESN, WR Nelson Agholor returned to the practice field on Thursday. After being forced to the sidelines in Week 6 due to a hamstring injury, the veteran wide receiver will look to make his return against the Bears. Yet, Chicago’s defense is ranked fourth in the NFL against wide receivers which may see DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, Jakobi Meyers, and Agholor potentially have quiet games.
On the other hand, Chicago is ranked 25th in the league against running backs. This is where Rhamondre Stevenson may have another monster game, after coming off a two-touchdown performance against the Cleveland Browns last week. Expect Stevenson to continue his dominance against a weak Bears rushing defense: Another reason why the Patriots are heavy favorites.
A Struggling Chicago Offense
The Bears go into the Week 7 matchup against the Patriots ranked 28th in yards per game (293.5), and 31st in points per game (15.5). Going up against a New England defense that recently shut out the Detroit Lions in Week 4, who had been the top-scoring offense in the league up to that point, the Patriots have a clear advantage defensively against the Bears.
Stopping Chicago’s QB Justin Fields will be New England’s number-one priority on the defensive side of the ball. Even though the Bears only put up seven points last week, Fields went 14-27 on passing attempts, threw a touchdown and an interception, and picked up 88 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Fields’ athleticism and ability to break out of the pocket will be on the minds of New England’s defenders, yet they should feel very confident in their ability to disrupt the Chicago quarterback.
Against the Browns, who had the second-best-ranked offensive line in the NFL going into the Week 6 matchup, the Patriots were able to sack Jacoby Brissett four times and force three takeaways. Up until Week 6, the Browns had only allowed one sack. In comparison, the Bears are tied for most sacks allowed a game in the NFL averaging 3.8 sacks allowed a game. Expect New England’s defense to pressure the quarterback on Monday and force Justin Fields to turn the ball over.
Patriots Are Heavy Favorites For a Reason
At home, New England should be comfortable winners against a Bears team that has suffered defeats in each of the last three weeks. If Mac Jones returns 100% recovered from his ankle injury and the defense performs as expected, the Patriots will come out victorious and improve to 4-3 on the season.
Prediction: Patriots win 27-10.