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Three Bold Predictions For Patriots-Bears

The Patriots have had no shortage of excitement and unpredictability in their games these days. They head into a big one against the Bears with a chance to ascend to a winning record and gain ground in the playoff race. Here are my bold predictions for what happens on Monday night.

Not All Of The Patriots’ Points Will Come On Offense

The Patriots have certainly been effective on offense, and with Mac likely back, they will be able to find another gear. However, special teams and defense have been extremely strong points for the Patriots, and in the past few games, the team has been able to set themselves up for points on the backs of those units. In the last two games, the Patriots have allowed a total of 15 points and have had seven takeaways off three interceptions and four fumbles, one of which went for a touchdown in the form of a Kyle Dugger fumble recovery.

The best chances for non-offensive touchdowns lie with Marcus and Jack Jones. Marcus has been used on and off with Myles Bryant in the punt-returning game, but he has some serious potential. He has averaged over 24 yards per kick return and 16 yards per punt return (longest return of 37 yards) and has provided a boost in the field position battle. He’s capable of a lot more than even that, though. In his college years at Houston and Troy, he had nine return touchdowns, often in critical moments.

Jack Jones has simply been incredible for the Patriots this year. The opportunistic corner can predict routes and get to them with his stunning speed and athleticism and has two interceptions and four pass breakups to show for it, as well as a pick-six. His touchdown wasn’t a one-off; instead, it was something that was building from the style with which Jones defends.

Mac Jones Scores At Least Two Touchdowns Without A Turnover

Reports say that Mac will be ready to play in the Chicago game, and with the emergence of Bailey Zappe in his last two starts, this is a crucial game for him. I expect Mac to take this moment to silence his doubters and clinch his starting spot for good. Before he left, Mac showed traces of some explosiveness, with over 300 yards passing against Baltimore and some really impressive drives. However, it was also a game where he threw three interceptions.

This time, though, the Patriots have a lot more going for them. The defense looks solid and dominant in the secondary and the front seven. There is an established running threat in Rhamondre Stevenson. The offensive line is buying time for the quarterback. Finally, the playcalling is starting to fall into place and making the most out of the talent on the team. Mac had none of this earlier in the season. Combining his accuracy and newfound explosiveness with all of these improvements will allow the offense to reach an even higher level and for Mac to put up good numbers efficiently.

Justin Fields Will Be Sacked At Least Four Times

The obvious counterpoint to this is that Justin Fields is mobile, and taking him down will be tough. However, there’s still some work for him to translate his mobility into creating plays under duress. There’s a difference between the mobility it takes to break out on a designed run and the type of mobility needed to avoid a sack. Unfortunately for Fields, this is coupled with an offensive line that has been very leaky this year, and he has been sacked 23 times.

Combine this with a defensive line that has no weak link and has looked dominant, having sixteen sacks of their own and a solid group of linebackers, the equation becomes even tougher for Fields. They’re strong on the edge and on the inside and have two players in Deatrich Wise and Matthew Judon who have been sack monsters this year. Expect the Patriots to be in the Bears’ backfield a lot on Monday.

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