Chicago Bears at New England Patriots 10/26/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Patriots 51, Bears 23
October 26, 2014
Mixed in with the Sunday action on the Week 8 NFL slate was an east coast battle between two high-powered offenses. The Bears were heading into Gillette Stadium fresh off a demoralizing loss to the Dolphins last week, while the Patriots edged out a win over the Jets last Thursday. It was more of the same from both teams here.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key players and stats from this one so we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll check in on Week 9 and see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: It didn’t take long for the Patriots to assert themselves in this one, and after a while it was tough to watch if you have any allegiance to Chicago. New England started off the scoring with a 6-yard Rob Gronkowski TD catch from Tom Brady, which was the only scoring of the quarter.
In the second, the floodgates opened. Stephen Gostkowski put the Pats up 10 with a 23-yard field goal, and a short time later Tim Wright notched a 1-yard TD catch. The Bears struck back on a 25-yard Matt Forte TD catch, but the Patriots would add two more TD passes from Brady to Gronkowski again (2 yards) and Brandon LaFell (9 yards). A 15-yard Rob Ninkovich fumble recovery TD put New England up 38-7 at the half, and there was a lot more scoring left to do.
In the third, Gronkowski struck yet again on a 46-yard TD pass a few minutes in. That’s all that would happen scoreboard-wise until the Bears finally stopped the bleeding near the end of the quarter on a 20-yard Martellus Bennett TD catch from Jay Cutler. The 2-point conversion would make it 45-15 after three.
In the fourth, Gostkowski banged in a 27-yarder to extend the lead. Chicago would make it 23-48 on a 10-yard Cutler pass to Alshon Jeffery. After a failed onside kick, it was mop-up time for the Pats as they put their backups in the game. Gostkowski connected on another field goal to make it 51-23. That’s the way it would stay, and it’ll be another long week in Chicago.
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The Stars: Every time we write Brady off as over the hill, he comes back with a day like this. His final line was 30-of-35 passing for 354 yards and a whopping five touchdowns. Gronkowski (149 yards; three touchdowns) and LaFell (124 yards; touchdown) were his favorites on this day. Jonas Green led the team with 86 yards rushing on 17 carries.
On the other side, Matt Forte (114 rush yards; 54 receiving yards; TD) and Martellus Bennett (95 yards; TD) were the only real standouts.
The Goats: The majority of the blame here goes to Chicago’s sieve of a defense. They allowed Brady and company to rack up 487 yards of offense and a whopping 25 passing first downs. The Pats were 7-of-11 on third down conversions and averaged 9.4 yards per pass.
That said, the Bears offense had supreme difficulty sustaining drives and also coughed up a pair of momentum-killing turnovers (both by Cutler, incidentally). Brandon Marshall was bottled up again (three grabs; 35 yards) and most of the stats came in catch-up mode.
Injuries: Late in the fourth during garbage time we saw one of the more bizarre injuries of this NFL season. After a successful sack, the Bears’ Lamar Houston jumped up in celebration and appeared to come down awkwardly on his leg. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the first celebration injury we’ve seen this year.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 9, the Patriots will host the Broncos in another high-powered matchup (November 2; 4:25 PM ET on CBS).
Meanwhile, the Bears will be hibernating next weekend; they’re on a bye in Week 9.
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