Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass the ball during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
When the Patriots Have the Ball
Da Windy City
The Patriots and their 7th ranked scoring offense will take on the Bears 22nd ranked scoring defense. The Patriots only rank 18th in total offense gaining only 345.2 yard per game. The reason there’s such a disparity between their overall offense and their scoring offense is their 2nd leading +9 turnover ratio.
Patriots Rushing Offense (20th, 103.3 YPG) vs Bears Rush Defense (14th, 108.4 YPG)
The Pats rushing attack suffered a blow when they lost Steven Ridley for the season. Brock Vereen’s big brother Shane took advantage of his opportunity to be the go-to guy last week when he went off for a pair of touchdowns and over 100 yards from scrimmage. Most of his damage came through the air and much like Matt Forte, he’s a dual threat.
The Bears run defense is much improved over last season , but they had nowhere to go but up. The good news for the Bears run D is that Tom Brady doesn’t run a read-option running attack, which has continued to give the Bears fits. The big question for the Bears is in their linebacking corps. Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic are both on the mend, so it’s unsure if they’ll be able to contribute. DJ Williams has been OK in run support.
If the Patriots beat the Bears, it’s not going to be because of their rushing attack.
Patriots Passing Offense (15th, 242.1 YPG) vs Bears Pass Defense (T-19th, 247.6 YPG)
The Patriots and Tom Brady are about as good as it gets. The weapons on the outside rarely stand out and that’s the case again this season. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are both trying to do their best Wes Welker impressions, but neither is nearly as explosive. But what they lack in wide receivers, they make up for with Rob Gronkowski. The Bears have struggled against mediocre tight ends, so it scares me what they’ll do against Gronk. I have no idea who will cover him? Conte might fall apart if he tries to check him. None of the linebackers seem athletic enough to keep up with him unless maybe Christian Jones gets a shot to drop into coverage.
To make matters worse for the Bears, it’s unclear if their best pass defender Kyle Fuller will suit up with a busted hand and a bum hip. The injury to Peanut Tillman has stressed the nickel corner position as no one has distinguished themselves. Ryan Mundy has been steady but certainly not spectacular.
The Bears are like Bizarro Superman. What’s up is down, what’s black is white. What should be a win is a loss and what should be a loss turns out to be a win. The problem is that I don’t know if the Bears have the red or green Kryptonite to deal with Tom Brady. Gronk should go off for a big day. The Bears play a clean offensive game, but it’s not enough.
Bears 27 – Patriots 42