Patriots use a second half surge to beat the Bears 38-31
CHICAGO – It’s a rare match-up between the teams at Soldier Field, but the situation tends to happen a lot in the NFL.
You had the Patriots, the established dynasty in the league, facing the Bears, an upstart group looking to add to a potential breakthrough season. For New England, the goal was to use their experience to show that they are still one of the teams to beat in 2018, while the hosts wanted to send the message to the NFL that they were for real.
In the end, the established team won out.
In a game where momentum shifted a number of times, it was the Patriots who had the last surge at the end, using 17 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to build a lead over the Bears, then held on by a yard for the 38-31 victory.
A last-second “Hail Mary” pass from Mitchell Trubisky was completed to Kevin White at the one-yard line, but Patriots defenders held him out of the end zone to preserve the win.
The defeat is the second-straight for the Bears, who fall to 3-3 on the season and fall out of first place in the NFC North. Another AFC East opponent is up next week as the Jets make a visit to Soldier Field for a noon kickoff.
Unlike last week, the Bears responded well when falling behind in the early going. Following an eight-play, 75 yard touchdown drive led by Tom Brady, who hit Julian Edelman for the nine-yard score, the hosts ripped off 17-straight points. A Cody Parkey field goal was followed by a turnover by returner Cordarrelle Patterson, who fumbled after running into his own player.
Trubisky then completed the short drive with a scrambling nine-yard touchdown that ended up covering over 70 yards. Bilal Nichols’s tackle of Sony Michel on the following New England series forced another turnover, which Jordan Howard turned into a two-yard touchdown to make it 17-7.
Patterson turned the momentum back to the Patriots when he returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for the touchdown to make it a three-point game. Following a Bears’ punt, Brady led a second touchdown drive of the game and finished it off with a five-yard touchdown pass to James White to give the Patriots 21-17 lead.
Trubisky once again used his scrambling to get the Bears on the board in the second half, using a 39-yard rush to get down to the New England one-yard line. After another Howard touchdown was called back due to a penalty, Trubisky found Tarik Cohen for a six-yard touchdown to make it 24-21.
The Patriots then scored 17-unanswered points, starting with Stephen Gostkowski’s 29-yard field goal to tie the game. Donta’ Hightower put New England back ahead as he blocked Pat O’Donnell’s punt, which was recovered by Kyle Van Noy and returned for the touchdown. Brady’s third touchdown of the day on a shovel pass to White made it 38-24.
Kyle Fuller gave the Bears another chance to get back in the game when he caught a deflected pass from Brady for his third interception in two games. Trubisky led the offense down the field and hit Burton for the 11-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 7.
When the defense got a stop on the Patriots’ next drive, the Bears got one more chance for the win. After three quick passes to get to his own 45-yard line, Trubisky heaved a pass downfield into the wind for White. He would come down with the pass at the one-yard line, but a host of Patriots kept him out of the endzone, preserving the victory.