Week 7 of the NFL season is in the books and the AFC East looks like it has for the last two decades with the Patriots on top. The Patriots/Bears game was a shootout ending in a score of 38-31 in favor of the Pats. I wrote down play by play notes, but I won’t bore you with ALL of it, just the highlights which are below.
New England took the opening kickoff and looked like the offensive juggernaut that they’ve been known to be. They opened up with an 18 yard rush by Sony Michel, a 13 yard reception my Michel, a 14 yard reception by James White, 7 yard run by White, 6 yard run by Michel, 9 yard reception by Julian Edelman, incomplete pass, and a 9 yard touchdown catch by Edelman. Boom! Patriots up 7-0 and it looked fairly effortless.
The Bears’ first offensive possession proved to be unimpressive. There was good kickoff coverage by the Patriots and then they gave up a couple of short yardage runs, but then the Bears’ QB, Mitch Trubisky showed a glimpse of what was to come with a 14 yard run. After that, he threw 3 consecutive incompletes with two of them while he was under heavy pressure from the defensive line.
Patriots drive number 2 was a boring 3 and out.
The Bears’ next possession showcased another Trubisky run of 11 yards and a Trey Burton catch for 22 yards. This drive, however, only yielded 3 points for the Bears.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cordarrelle Patterson (my golden boy) fumbled the ball and the Bears got great field position. Trubisky continued to show his mobility by running for an 8 yard run and brought the score to 10-7 in favor of the Bears.
The next Patriots possession showed both GREAT things and HORRIBLE things. Josh “Flash” Gordon had a sweet 20 yard catch, only to have Sony Michel fumble the ball and get carted off the field, much to the dismay of my fantasy team. Get well soon, Sony!
Chicago’s next drive was highlighted by a sack by Deatrich Wise. Later in the drive there was some big pressure by the Patriots defensive line and I believe they had Trubisky down for another sack, but somehow the refs said that he got the ball out before his knee was down. I’m still skeptical. This was followed by a BAD defensive penalty called on the Patriots. This lead to a 3 yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard. Bears now lead the game 17-7.
On the next kickoff, Patterson received a little redemption by taking it 95 yards for a return touchdown. Patriots cut the lead by the Bears to 17-14.
Chicago’s next drive, 3 and out. Why can’t they all be that easy?
The Patriots’ next drive was a pass heavy, chain moving march down the field. Gordon had another 20+ yard reception and White caught a 5 yard pass from Tom Brady for a touchdown. Patriots took the lead 21-17.
The Bears’ next drive amounted to nothing more than 1 first down and a punt. Unfortunately, on that punt, Edelman muffed it, but kept possession of the ball. This drive didn’t lead to anything very productive.
The next Bears possession brought us through the half. The Patriots just missed an interception by Gilmore during this drive and it ultimately let to Tarik Cohen catching a 6 yard touchdown pass from Trubisky. The Bears took the lead 24-21.
The Patriots took the ball next and Chris Hogan made a great 21 yard reception while drawing a 15 yard penalty on top of that for a net of a 36 yard play. Brady took a sack on third down, so all the Patriots could muster was a field goal to tie the game 24-24.
On Chicago’s next drive J.C. Jackson for the Patriots had an awful pass interference penalty called on him, but luckily the Patriots were unscathed and forced a punt. This is where the momentum changed. While Chicago was attempting to punt the ball, Dont’a Hightower charged in and enveloped the ball. It rolled around on the ground briefly before Kyle Van Noy scooped it up and proceeded to turn it into 6 more points. The Patriots then moved to a 31-24 advantage.
Chicago’s next drive looked like they were going to march down the field, but on third down, J.C. Jackson was also redeemed a bit when he came up with a big interception, but the Patriots couldn’t capitalize and had to punt the ball away.
Again, Chicago starts moving the ball at will, but again the Patriots defense comes up with another interception via Jonathan Jones. The following drive by the Pats was highlighted by a crazy catch and run by Gordon for 54 yards, just shy of the goal line. White ended up putting the ball in the end zone again and the Pats took a 38-24 lead.
The Patriots came up with another great kickoff coverage scheme and held Chicago to a 3 and out with help from an Adrian Clayborn sack on third down.
The Pats came up short on their next drive with Brady having a ball tipped and then intercepted. This lead to a Burton touchdown catch cutting the Patriots lead to 38-31.
The Patriots tried running out the clock on the next drive, but inevitably had to punt the ball with under 2 minutes to go. Enter the high drama music. Trubisky, 55 yards away from the end zone, heaves the ball under pressure, 54 yards into the waiting hands of Kevin White. Luckily there were 3 or 4 Patriots there to grab him right away and keep him out of the end zone while time expired.
PHEW! While we DO like the wins, we don’t like the stress. But, the Patriots are now one game ahead in the AFC East with a win against the second place Miami Dolphins all the while having a game against divisional Buffalo on Monday night. Here’s hoping that Monday’s game is more stress-free!