New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Brady and the Patriots Not Bothered by Chicago Snow; Rout Bears 36-7

The weather in Chicago Sunday may have been frightful, but for the Pats, they seemed to have fun in the snow, building a 33-0 lead by halftime and cruising to a 36-7 win to clinch a playoff birth in the AFC.

Despite the poor weather conditions, Tom Brady passed for a season-high 369 yards and two touchdowns. The win puts the team at 11-2, and means they will play into January for the 7th time in 8 seasons.

Brady threw both touchdown passes in the first half, including a 59-yarder that Deion Branch took down the left sideline on the last play from scrimmage to give New England a 33-0 lead heading into the locker room.

Branch finished with 151 yards on eight catches, and Wes Welker also caught eight passes for 115 yards in another dismantling by the Patriots’ offense that scored 45 points last Monday against the AFC East-rival Jets.

“There’s a long way to go,” he said. “I don’t think anything’s really been accomplished yet. We’re working hard. I don’t think we’ve got every problem solved. There are plenty of defenses that have kicked us around this year. We don’t sit in here and think we’ve got it all figured out.”

New England gained 475 yards on offense despite the weather and won for the fifth week in a row.

Chicago’s only offense came from a one-yard run by Chester Taylor in the third quarter. Jay Cutler passed for 152 yards with two interceptions, and receiver Johnny Knox lost a fumble that was returned for a New England touchdown.

The Bears (9-4) walked onto Soldier Field with a five-game winning streak, carried by a defense that yielded more than 20 points only once in victories over Buffalo, Minnesota, Miami, Philadelphia and Detroit.

“It was a chess match, and he (Brady) said check mate,” Bears safety Chris Harris said.

By the end of the first half on Sunday, however, that same unit was booed off the field after surrendering 15 first downs, 273 yards and 33 points to the Patriots in spite of the wintry conditions.

“It happens from time to time, especially against a good football team, but then you go back and this game counts as one loss, no more than that,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We went into this game against the Patriots in first place in our division and we still are. We just have to take care of business from here on out.”

Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a seven-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to open the scoring, finding his tight end behind a goal line that was visible only after being brushed clear of snow.

Gronkowski made the catch despite being draped by Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher. His foot on the pedal, Brady led the New England offense on an 87-yard scoring drive to start the second quarter. Danny Woodhead gave the Patriots a 14-0 lead on a three-yard run.

The Bears had trouble moving the ball in the snow, but most of their mistakes had less to do with the white stuff than with a swarming Patriots defense.

On the first play after Woodhead’s score, New England cornerback Devin McCourty stripped the ball from Knox, and linebacker Gary Guyton returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0.

Shayne Graham kicked field goals from 30 and 25 yards, the second one coming after Patriots lineman Eric Moore hit Cutler for a fumble that New England recovered.

Julian Edelman made several sharp cuts in returning a Chicago punt 71 yards for a touchdown, but the score was nullified by a holding penalty. Not that it mattered.

Brady located Branch in blown coverage on the left sideline for an easy 59- yard score that left no time on the clock and gave the Patriots their 33-0 halftime lead.

Chicago punter Brad Maynard couldn’t handle a snap on the first series of the second half — the ball bounced off his open hands — and got off a kick of only 19 yards. New England turned the mistake into its final three points on Graham’s 29-yard field goal.

The Pats will continue to make the trek towards home field in the AFC, as next Sunday they will take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football at 8:20pm.

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2 Responses to “Brady and the Patriots Not Bothered by Chicago Snow; Rout Bears 36-7”

  1. Norman says:

    Pardon me, but the score was 36-7 and not 36-3….

  2. bellicheat says:

    Psst, Matty:

    (n) Rout, an overwhelming defeat

    (n) Route, an established line of travel or access

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