PENALTIES- Twelve makes a dozen. Last week the Patriots had a literal dozen of penalties called against them. Nine of the twelve flags flew on offense. I'm sure that penalties, especially the pre-snap variety, was one of the things Belichick stressed this past week. As of right now Isaiah Wynn is leading the NFL with 7 flags.
While it isn't called very often, both Mac and Zappe have been called for intentional grounding. In my opinion, both young quarterbacks need to work on the art of throwing the ball away. Prior to Mac going down with an ankle sprain, it seemed like he would throw it up for grabs instead of just getting rid of it.
RUSHING- Heading into tonight's game, the Bears are second in the league with an average of 170.7 yards on the ground. Quarterback Justin Fields is the second leading rusher on the team. Considering Chicago is 32nd in passing yards (122.8), getting some yards with his legs is the least Fields can do. With some rainy weather and the game not likely to be a shootout, the Patriots will likely eclipse their average of 131 yards per game on the ground easily. I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots had both Stevenson and Harris close to the century mark.
SACKING THE QUARTERBACK- The Chicago offensive line hasn't been very protective of Fields. Six games into the season, he has been sacked 23 times. With injuries and guys just playing poorly, the Bears will have a shakeup on the line. Regardless, I expect to see Judon's red arms taking down Fields a time or two.
A FEW RANDOM STATS-
- The Patriots haven't surrendered a 4th down conversion at home this year
- The Bears' defense is horrible on the road with allowing a league worst 61% conversion rate on 3rd downs