Patriots O Line rounding into shape just in time to counter ferocious Bears

The 27-year-old recorded four receptions, including one for 55 yards up the middle in the fourth quarter. It won't be any easier in Chicago, as the Bears boast one of the toughest defenses in the league, highlighted by linebacker Khalil Mack.

He saw Mitchell Trubisky heave the ball toward the goal line, Kevin White haul it in and a swarming defence keep the ball out of the end zone. His biggest play in terms of the magnitude in the game, arguably, was his eye-popping 19-yard catch on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call.

If Gronkowski wasn't on the field during that last game, it's hard to imagine the Patriots coming away with the win against Kansas City.


Michel was knocked out the game from that point on with a knee injury, and the Patriots played Sunday without All Pro TE Rob Gronkowski, who was ruled out with a back injury. "I wish I could answer it", Allen said in typical evasive Patriots fashion. The Bears outgained New England, 453-381, and held the Patriots to fewer than six yards per play.

"They say it's a game of inches and that's kind of what it came down to", Patriots running back James White said. The unit took a less aggressive approach for Tom Brady, and frequently dropped back into coverage rather than bringing in pass rushers to pressure Brady, who finished with 277 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. It's possible the slight lethargy was due to the lingering hamstring injury that's kept him limited in practice, but Gordon revealed after the game that he was just tired during the drive. He seemed to be overthrowing his receivers in the first half, and in the second half, he was under throwing them.

Plus, Trubisky said, that's not good enough, anyway.


The objective: slow down a Bears pass rush that was the best in the NFL through Week 5 on a per-snap basis but one that now has been held to one sack in the past nine quarters of football. Van Noy picked up the ball and ran 29 yards for his first career touchdown. Michel fumbled on the play - though not because the ball was knocked out of his hands; perhaps simply due to the pain.

Given Gronkowski's importance to New England's offense, bettors began to hop on the Bears shortly after the news broke. Bears receivers have to be better for Trubisky in those situations. "We had production from a lot of different people", Belichick said. "I was always taught if we're going on defense first and we stop them first, that's a momentum changer".


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