FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP)Justin Fields threw for 179 yards and a touchdown and ran for 82 yards and another score, and the Bears’ defense forced returning Patriots starter Mac Jones back to the bench to give Chicago a 33-14 victory over New England.
In a matchup of quarterbacks from the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game, Fields outperformed Jones, who led Alabama to victory over Fields’ Ohio State. And Fields also outplayed Patriots rookie Bailey Zappe, who came on after Jones was managed just two three-and-outs and an interception in his return after missing three games with a high ankle sprain.
With the damp Gillette Stadium crowd chanting ”Zappe! Zappe!” the fourth-round draft pick from Western Kentucky led the Patriots to back-to-back touchdowns and a 14-10 lead. However, Chicago then ran off 23 unanswered points.
Fields had a 25-yard scoring pass to Khalil Herbert and then, after Zappe fumbled in the last 2 minutes, the Bears (3-4) added a field goal to make it 20-14 at the half.
Zappe was 5 of 6 for 109 yards and a touchdown in the first half. But in the second, he was 9 of 16 for 76 yards and two interceptions. Jones completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards, with one interception. Rhamondre Stevenson caught eight passes for 59 yards and ran 11 times for 39 for the Patriots (3-4).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The New York Jets moved quickly to replace injured rookie running back Breece Hall.
The Jets traded a conditional late-round draft pick to Jacksonville for James Robinson, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been formally finalized.
Robinson, a third-year pro who lost his starting job to former Clemson star Travis Etienne two weeks ago, still needs to pass a physical.
Robinson has 81 carries for 340 yards and three touchdowns this season to go along with nine catches for 46 yards and a score. He totaled 1,837 yards rushing, 566 yards receiving and 18 total TDs in his first two years with Jacksonville.
Robinson could be an adequate fill-in for Hall, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Denver on Sunday. A second-round pick out of Iowa State, Hall had been one of the NFL’s top rookies and a key playmaker in the Jets’ 5-2 start. He has a team-leading 463 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 80 attempts.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The NFL said it is looking into what transpired between two game officials and Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans in the tunnel of Bank of America Stadium after the Buccaneers’ 21-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
A reporter captured a video of side judge Jeff Lamberth and line judge Tripp Sutter approaching Evans as he is making his way toward the locker room.
There is a short inaudible exchange between the game officials and Evans, before the player turns around and is handed a slip of paper. A second video posted by a reporter from 1340 AM Fox Sports appears to show Evans writing something as Lamberth stood next to him while Tampa Bay players walked past them to the locker room.
According to the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association game officials are not allowed to ”ask players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia.”
The CBA goes on to stipulate that they recognize game officials may need to obtain player autographs or team merchandise or memorabilia for personal or charitable purposes, but said that such requests should be made through the officiating department and never to a player or team employee directly.
Lamberth is in his 20th season as an NFL official, while Sutter in his fourth.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts thought Matt Ryan would help them make a playoff run, maybe even win a championship. Instead, the bruised and battered 15-year veteran is getting benched.
Coach Frank Reich announced that second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger will make his starting debut Sunday against the Washington Commanders.
The move comes one day after a 19-10 loss at Tennessee left Indy 1 1/2 games behind the Titans in the AFC South. Ryan threw two interceptions and was sacked three times, the first apparently resulting in a separated throwing shoulder late in the first half.
He was 18 of 21 with 123 yards and one touchdown in the second half, but couldn’t complete his fourth fourth-quarter comeback this season. Even if Ryan wasn’t hurt, Reich said, the decision would have been the same.
NEW YORK (AP) – Jim Nantz will step away from calling the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament after next year and will be succeeded by Ian Eagle.
Nantz has been a part of the CBS coverage of the tournament since 1986. He was the studio host for five years before calling his first Final Four in 1991. The 63-year old Nantz will remain the lead voice of the network’s NFL coverage, along with leading its golf team. CBS has The Masters and PGA Championship.
Eagle has been with CBS since 1998. Besides calling the tournament, he is part of the network’s No. 2 NFL team. The 53-year-old Eagle is also part of Turner’s NBA coverage and has called Brooklyn Nets games since 1995.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Phil Kessel matched the NHL record for consecutive games played in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Chandler Stephenson scored the go-ahead goal 42 seconds into the third period, and Nicolas Roy and Michael Amadio also scored for Vegas. Logan Thompson made 23 saves.
Kessel tied defenseman Keith Yandle’s ironman record by playing in his 989th straight game. The 17-year veteran is set to break the mark Tuesday at San Jose.
Yandle’s streak began in 2009 and ended in March last season. Kessel’s streak started in November 2009.