By: Russ Goldman
The Patriots again dominated an opponent by beating the Chicago Bears 36-7 at Soldier Field on Sunday.
The Patriots showed that they are a team that is continuing to rise to the top. This victory by the Patriots seemed to be at the same high level of play they showed just a week ago against the Jets.
Similar to last Monday night’s game, the Patriots sprinted out of the gates, and by halftime they were up 33-0. The second half was more about finishing the game, and playing for 60 minutes which the Patriots accomplished.
So what did we learn from watching the game on Sunday?
The first thing we learned is that bad weather doesn’t seem to affect the play of the Patriots. Going into the game I listened to the so called experts state that the weather would make it hard for the Patriots offense to move and score. The conditions were bad, but Tom Brady came out throwing, and I didn’t see many bad passes thrown by the Patriots quarterback.
The second thing we learned is that the Patriots offensive game plan really took advantage of the Bears weakness on defense which is the secondary. Coming out throwing in those conditions turned out to be a huge advantage for the Patriots receivers.
The third thing we learned is that Benjarvus Green-Ellis is shaping into a very good running back. He might not be flashy, but he certainly knows how to find the holes, and hit them fast. I think it is time to give Green-Ellis his due. He ran very well against a defense that was ranked 2nd in the league against the run.
The fourth thing we learned is that this Patriots defense is continuing to make plays, and flat out getting better. The Pats put some pressure on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, along with intercepting him 2 times. The best part of this defense is the Pats players always seem to be around the ball. It is also time to give this unit some respect for the improvements they have made from the beginning of the season. I don’t care what the statistics say, because my eyes again see an improving unit.
The Bears are a talented team, and should not be taken lightly the rest of the season. Their defense is legitimate, and their offense has potential as long as the quarterback plays under control. I think this game just showed more about the level that the Patriots are playing on.
On offense, the Bears really need a strong running attack to be effective. Unfortunately, they got behind early, and were not able to run the ball that much. They ran for a total of 47 yards. The Bears were forced to put the ball in the hands of Cutler and throw the ball often. He did not have a very good day in the air. He was 12-26 for 152 yards, and 2 interceptions. In the future the Bears will need Cutler to become the complimentary piece to their running game with Matt Forte.
On defense, the Bears had a tough time stopping Brady. They came close several times to intercepting him, but just couldn’t create the turnovers they needed.
For the Patriots, on offense once again the play of this unit revolves around the quarterback, and he was tremendous. Brady was 27-40 for 369 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was one of his best performances of the season.
On defense, the unit caused turnovers, and did put some heat on the quarterback. They held the Bears to to a total of 185 net yards. Plus, they also caused 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions. This unit did a solid job.
The most important thing we learned is that the Patriots seemed to be getting better from week to week. I think they are looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
As I always do, I like to look back at my keys to victory to see what kind of role they played in the game. Below is my analysis of ” My Five Keys To Victory For the Patriots Against The Bears.”
1. The Patriots special teams unit needs to contain Devin Hester. The Patriots had a hard time keeping him under control on punts and kick-offs. One kick return went for 61 yards. They were fortunate he was not a larger factor in the game.
2. The Patriots offensive line has to do a great job in protecting Tom Brady. The Patriots offensive line I thought was tremendous on Sunday. Brady had plenty of time to throw the ball the majority of the game. The Bears did sack Brady 3 times, but for the most part this unit kept Brady well protected.
3. The Patriots running game has to be efficient on Sunday. The Pats running game was great on Sunday. They gained a total of 124 yards. Green-Ellis ran for 87 yards with a 4.1 yards per carry average. The Patriots certainly succeeded in this key.
4. The Patriots defense needs to shut down Matt Forte. The Pats defense limited Forte to 25 yards with a 2.9 yards per carry average. The defense certainly succeeded in stopping the Bears running back.
5. The Patriots need to put pressure on Jay Cutler. The Pats defense certainly put some heat on Cutler. They sacked him twice, but also got in his face which saw Cutler make some costly mistakes.
So what did we learn from this game? I think we saw another step in the progression of a very good football team. The Patriots seem to be getting better as the games become more important. Hopefully, we will see this rise continue next Sunday Night against the Packers.
What are your reactions to the game? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of New England’s 36-7 victory against the Bears.