Nightmare in New England for Bears

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Tom Brady threw four first-half touchdowns and New England rolled up 38 points at the break, en route to a 51-23 pasting of an overmatched Chicago Bears squad Sunday at Gillete Stadium. The 38 points are the most allowed in Bears history for a half, which included a barrage of 31 points by the Pats in the second quarter alone. New England collected 487-yards of total offense and scored on eight of ten offensive possessions.

Chicago falls to a disappointing 3-5 on the season, almost assuredly out of the playoff race at the season’s mid-point.

On this overcast and windy day, Brady’s precision passing to WR Brandon LaFell and TE Rob Gronkowski put the Bears in an early hole which would only get deeper. Brady was almost perfect, completing 30-of-35 passes for 354-yards and five touchdowns. LaFaell, using his size and experience to outmuscle Bears rookie CB’s Kyle Fuller and Al Louis-Jean, hauled in 11 catches for 124-yards and a score, while Gronkowski caught nine balls for 149-yards and three touchdowns. The duo contstantly threatened the Bears backend on slant patterns, fades, and curl ins, areas that have been exposed throughout the dismal first half of the season.

Meanwhile, the Bears offense was stuck in quick sand until a floating pass from Jay Cutler found RB Matt Forte behind coverage for a pretty 25-yard catch and run to cut the deficit to 17-7 midway through the second quarter.

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That proved to be the Bears fist half highlight as New England quickly answered, scoring for the fourth time in the first half. As a matter of fact, the Patriots would score twice in a span of 57 seconds when Defensive end Rob Ninkovich scored with 55 seconds left in the first half on a 15-yard return after Cutler fumbled, trying to avoid a sack.

That stretch was “agonizing,” said Cutler. “I think everyone’s surprised. You don’t expect to get out and beat like that.” Cutler finished 20-of-30 for 227-yards with three touchdowns and a pick. In fairness, two of Cutler’s scores came in second-half garbage time when the Pats were protecting the lead.

The only highlights for Bears fans came from steady Matt Forte’s 19 carries for 114-yards and a spectacular falling 20-yard touchdown catch from TE Martellus Bennett in the third quarter.

With their season nearly in ruins, Chicago heads into a bye wondering where it all went wrong. “You saw it. You see the struggles,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “There’s a size matchup when you have him man-to-man. We had him covered man-to-man by two to three different players. As I said, Tom made meticulous throws. He was on target even when he was covered, so you have to give him credit for that. And he caught some in zone as well
certainly, but we had some very tight coverage on him, some hip-to-hip coverage, and the ball was thrown perfectly.”

Bear Tracks: Sunday’

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s loss was also felt on the injury front.  Starting guard Matt Slauson, just back into the lineup after a high ankle sprain sidelined him, suffered a possibly serious pectoral injury that could force him out for the rest of the season. He’ll have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury…. Dumb injury of the year goes to DE Lamarr Houston, thus far a free agent bust, who injured his knee after celebrating his first Bears career sack in the fourth quarter with the Bears trailing by 28 points. “I probably shouldn’t have celebrated while they were blowing us out, but it happens,” Houston said. Yeah, no kidding.

 

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