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Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ 38-31 win over the Bears

New England improves to 5-2.

NFL: New England Patriots at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Hello readers, these are my (hopefully coherent) ramblings during the Patriots’ game against the Bears. I’ll be writing one after every game this season. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Bill Belichick going with the hoodie and ear warmer, with the Patriots logo upside down on the ear warmer, of course. Anyone that thinks Bill does this by accident is insane.
  • Patriots come out firing, with 8 plays on the first drive, all of them productive, except for an incomplete on a double screen play.
  • Hogan went down on the Edelman touchdown, and looked to be in some pain, but was back on the field on the punt return team a few minutes later.
  • Patriots having a problem stopping Mitchell Trubisky from running the ball. Their first 2 first downs were picked up before he completed a pass.
  • Awful mistake by Patterson on the kick return. Can’t make mistakes like that and expect to win. Ran into his own guy and the ball just popped out.
  • Adrian Clayborn has absolutely no idea how to keep contain. Trubisky rolls to the right and just stops and lets Clayborn run by, then runs for an 8-yard touchdown on what was a 77-yard scramble.
  • Refs decide to pick up the flag after Josh Gordon clearly gets hit helmet to helmet.
  • Patriots turn it over again, but the real concern is Sony Michel. Looked REALLY bad, let’s hope he’s not done for the year.
  • Hard to play worse defense than the Patriots on 4th down in the 2nd. Commit a penalty and leave Trey Burton wide open for a first down.
  • TWO phantom calls on J.C. Jackson on the Bears red zone trip that led to Jordan Howard’s touchdown run.
  • What a move by Patterson on the kick return touchdown. Gets the Patriots right back in the game and gives them an injection of momentum. Loved the high five between him and Jackson as he was scoring.
  • Josh Gordon is really good. That catch on 4th down was insane, and looked even more amazing since he lost his helmet
  • James White is uncoverable 1 on 1. Touchdown and the Pats take the lead again.
  • Sometimes during a Patriots game, you’ll look up and think, “How are they winning right now?” There’s 2 minutes left in the first half and I just had that thought.
  • Edelman owes Keion Crossen a beer or 4 after he prevented the Bears from recovering Edelman’s dropped punt. Luckily, Edelman was able to fall on the ball. The thought was good, to turn and make a play, but you gotta catch the ball first, especially inside the 10
  • Then, of course, Crossen gets called for a penalty on the next punt and gives the Bears a good shot at kicking a FG. Thankfully, the Bears were unable to get the first half of the Brady Parlay.
  • The Patriots are getting killed by Trubisky’s legs. Typically, running quarterbacks don’t hurt them this much, but this is twice this year that they haven’t been able to contain running QBs.
  • You drop an interception in the end zone, and the other team scores a touchdown. Those are the rules. Patriots have now done it twice. Need better execution if the Patriots expect to win today.
  • People may get on J.C. Jackson for the penalties today, but the first two were garbage calls, and the 3rd was a good decision after he was toasted on a double move by Gabriel. And then a fantastic play to rip the ball away from Bellamy. I like what I’ve seen from him today.
  • Hell of a play by Dont’a Hightower to block the punt attempt by the Bears, trucking his blocker, and laying out for the ball. Then a solid return by Kyle Van Noy. Patriots really improved on special teams this week. First blocked punt returned for a TD since Tedy Bruschi did it back in the 90s.
  • May get lost because of some solid catches, but Josh Gordon has two costly drops today.
  • Two insane interceptions by Patriots corners. Ball skills and big play ability is one thing that has been missing in the secondary for a while, it’s nice to see two young guys, Jackson and Jones, making plays.
  • After the pick, the Patriots go 96 yards on 9 plays, including a long catch by Josh Gordon, and go up by 14. That’s the type of drive that puts teams away.
  • Yet another tough luck interception by Brady when James Develin drops a late pass and it’s picked off by the Bears. That’s at least 4 by Brady this year. Especially tough since they had great field position after a 3 & out by the Bears.
  • Khalil Mack was invisible today. Not much of surprise, if there’s one player who dominates on the defensive line, they don’t typically hurt the Patriots. See: J-J- Watt.
  • I was closer to Trey Burton than any Patriots defender all day. They were torched by him all day.
  • Fantastic game by James White, not only catching the ball, but running hard at the end of the game. Certainly not his strong suit, but he was still doing it. The Patriots will almost certainly be picking up a RB this week, but White will continue to be a huge part of the offense.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game end with a completed Hail Mary that didn’t end up in a touchdown. Great discipline by Duron Harmon and Jonathan Jones to not go for the ball, but know that they needed to stop White from scoring. Clearly that’s their job on that play, but most players on most teams will still end up going for the ball. This one obviously saved the game for the Patriots.
  • There are some serious questions about this team, especially with the depth at running back moving forward, but they head into a Monday Night divisional matchup in Buffalo next week. The Bills stink, but typically play the Patriots hard, don’t expect them to roll over next week.

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