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Justin Fields shines on ground, through air in lopsided victory

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Justin Fields produced a slew of flash plays with his legs and his right arm in Monday night's 33-14 rout of the Patriots in New England.

With the Bears employing more read-option plays and designed quarterback runs than at any point this season, the second-year pro rushed for a game-high 82 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.

On the Bears' second possession, Fields sprinted around left end on a designed run for a 3-yard touchdown. In the second quarter, he gained 15 yards on a read option. The former Ohio State star later picked up a key first down with a 9-yard dash on a designed run on third-and-5, sustaining a drive that resulted in the Bears' second TD.

Late in the first half, Fields helped set up a field goal with a 20-yard scramble on third-and-14 and a 9-yard run on a quarterback draw.

"[It] just makes our offense more complex," Fields said, "just getting us out of the pocket, just more designed quarterback runs. It just opens it up a little bit more, just doing a lot of different things on offense."

To coach Matt Eberflus, the key to utilizing Fields more as a runner was "just being smart how we use him, with whatever we're going to do, whatever the run design is, and then him being smart when he's in the open field like that. Body, ball, boundary, get out or just make sure he's getting down quick enough, and he did a nice job with that."

Fields led a rushing attack that produced 243 yards on 45 carries. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert both ran for 62 yards on 15 and 12 attempts, respectively, and receiver Dante Pettis added a 29-yard run on a jet sweep.

"[When] Justin is able to use his legs and the line is blocking as well as they are, we have to take advantage of that and we were able to do that," Montgomery said. "Every chance we got to run the ball we wanted to make sure we were falling forward."

Fields also made plays in the passing game. He completed 13 of 21 throws for 179 yards with one TD, one interception and an 85.2 rating.

On back-to-back snaps on the Bears' first possession, he rolled to his right and hit Darnell Mooney for 20 yards and then rolled to the left and connected with Equanimeous St. Brown for 11 yards.

Fields sustained a TD drive on the Bears' second series when he escaped pressure in the pocket and rifled a 19-yard completion to Mooney on third-and-6.

Late in the first half, Fields threw sidearm to Herbert, who turned the pass into a 25-yard TD. Fields didn't see the touchdown because he got sandwiched by two pass rushers an instant after unloading the ball.

"I didn't see it," Fields said. "I got smacked on that play. I didn't know he scored until somebody came up and told me."

Fields joined Russell Wilson as the only two NFL players over the last 30 seasons to have at least 100 yards passing, one passing TD, 70 yards rushing and one rushing TD in the first half of a game.

In the third quarter, Fields sustained a drive that resulted in a field goal by lofting a 26-yard pass to Cole Kmet along the Patriots sideline on third-and-7.

"It's a lot of fun when you're able to have all these different type of run schemes with the running backs we have and the quarterback we have, and even with our fullbacks and tight ends," Kmet said. "It can be a lot of fun and we were able to do that tonight.

"Probably a big strength of ours is being able to run the football this way, then the pass coming off of that. We will continue to lean into that. That's a good defense we went up against. I definitely thought we were more physical than they were today and it will show on tape. We will just continue to improve and continue to find our niche."

Watch the Bears' Monday Night Football matchup against the New England Patriots unfold through the lenses of our sideline photographers at Gillette Stadium.

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