CHICAGO — Where do we alike begin?
The Patriots’ 38-31 achievement over the Bears featured a little bit of everything: alarming alone plays, a scattering of miscues and a about adverse ending.
Overall, though, the Pats did abundant to appear with a alley win over a solid, playoff-caliber opponent.
Here’s how the grades breach down:
Even afterwards Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel, Tom Brady and the breach had complete command of this game.
Brady dissected the Bears from the outset, calmly overextension the brawl about to Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, James White and Chris Hogan.
Brady wasn’t perfect, as he absent Gordon on a third-and-3 bandy a the sideline. The brawl bare to be outside, but it was placed way central of Gordon. Brady was advantageous it wasn’t intercepted.
He was best off in the fourth division aback targeting fullback James Develin. The brawl floated out adjoin Develin, mostly because Brady was hit on the play.
Brady has committed at atomic one about-face in all seven amateur this season, analogous the longest band of his career (2006).
RUNNING BACK: B-plus
Hey, this James White guy is appealing good.
White and Kenjon Barner got the job done afterwards Sony Michel went bottomward with a knee injury. Per usual, White torched the aegis on third down. He fabricated catches over the average to catechumen a third-and-4 and a brace of third-and-2 situations. He broiled Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd on an out-breaking avenue for a touchdown on a third-and-goal from the 5-yard line.
White’s abandoned miscue: He absent a block on Bears arresting end Roy Robertson-Harris, arch to the Brady interception.
Barner ran hard, and adequately effectively, as he accustomed a career aerial with 10 carries.
WIDE RECEIVER: A-minus
The Josh Gordon experiment? So far, so good.
Gordon ran circles about the Bears defense, alike at bisected speed. On a 55-yard accession in the fourth quarter, Gordon befuddled chargeless of Chicago cornerback Prince Amukamara, spun about assurance Eddie Jackson and basically jogged to the 1-yard line. He chalked it up to fatigue.
Gordon’s best comedy of the day was a 19-yard accession on a fourth-and-1. Isolated adjoin Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, Gordon jumped aerial in the air, anchored the brawl and retained control as he comatose to the ground. There are few receivers in the alliance able of authoritative that play.
Chris Hogan benefited from the attendance of Julian Edelman and Gordon. In a trips set with Gordon alfresco and Edelman inside, Hogan begin himself baldheaded active beeline bottomward the middle. Brady hit him for a accretion of 20.
Edelman’s touchdown on the aperture drive was an absorbing alone effort, as he pinballed off defenders and begin the end zone.
TIGHT END: B-minus
This was a abandoned achievement for Dwayne Allen, who primarily served in a blocking role.
Allen did not accept a distinct ambition admitting arena 55 snaps but still fabricated an impact. A few plays that stood out: Allen threw a key crackback block on a Sony Michel 6-yard run on the aperture drive. He bound slid post-snap from his bound end position to block the Bears’ autogenous assault on a Tom Brady-to-Josh Gordon affiliation that went for 20 yards.
Rob Gronkowski (back/ankle) and Jacob Hollister (hamstring) were inactive.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A-minus
You wouldn’t apperceive it, but the Patriots faced one of the best advanced sevens in football on Sunday.
Yes, Khalil Mack was acutely compromised by an abate injury. Still, the Patriots abhorrent band deserves acclaim for eliminating him from the game. He frequently went up adjoin larboard accouterment Trent Brown. We didn’t apprehend abundant from either player. That’s a acceptable affair for the Pats.
Tom Brady about was adequate in the abridged and able to advance through his reads.
One breakdown occurred aback Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was unaccounted for on a third-down blitz. He sacked Brady and the Pats acclimatized for a acreage goal. There seemed to be abashing amid appropriate bouncer Shaq Mason and appropriate accouterment LaAdrian Waddle.
Center David Andrews additionally accustomed a quarterback hit.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C-plus
Adrian Clayborn accursed by Chicago accouterment Charles Leno Jr. for a sack in the fourth quarter. He had several opportunities to accouterment Mitch Trubisky beforehand in the game, including Trubisky’s agrarian 8-yard touchdown scramble, but was clumsy to finish.
Trey Flowers exhausted Bears accouterment Bobby Massie and got his duke on the brawl to force an blunder on a third-and-10 in the aboriginal half.
Defensive accouterment Adam Butler fabricated a agitating comedy on a third-and-8 in the third quarter. He had a bright aisle to Trubisky, but he bound accomplished the Bears were throwing a awning to active aback Tarik Cohen. So instead of block Trubisky, Butler advancing Cohen affective adjoin the amusement and ran with him, obstructing Trubisky’s throwing lane. Trubisky threw the brawl into the arena and the Bears punted.
The Pats brought some burden on Trubisky at times, but they bare to assault to do so. In the end, this was a accomplished — yet unspectacular — achievement from the arresting line.
The good: Kyle Van Noy delivered addition able performance. On the additional series, Van Noy set the bend and affected Tarik Cohen to cord out to the amusement for no gain.
The Patriots generally acclimated three acceptable arresting linemen with Van Noy on the band of scrimmage. He fared able-bodied in pass-rushing situations.
Elandon Roberts showed up with a brace of aboriginal run stops. Roberts additionally pressured Mitch Trubisky on a assault up the middle, banishment a abysmal incompletion.
Later, Roberts alone an interception in the end zone. The Bears denticulate on the aing comedy to booty a 17-7 lead.
Dont’a Hightower didn’t appear aing to Trubisky on the 8-yard touchdown run (a comedy that saw the quarterback run about 20 yards in the amiss administration and again about-face course). The Pats did a abhorrent job absolute Trubisky on the arena (6 carries, 81 yards). Cornerback Stephon Gilmore absent a accouterment on Trubisky’s 39-yard scramble, and Roberts took a poor bend as Trubisky cut back.
The Pats were affected over the average throughout the afternoon, as bound end Trey Burton begin holes in their bendable area coverage. Those plays usually complex Hightower or Roberts.
DEFENSIVE BACK: C
Stephon Gilmore connected his ascent into the top bank of NFL cornerbacks.
Trubisky was 0-for-4 aback throwing in Gilmore’s direction. It’s account acquainted that Allen Robinson alone one of those passes.
Rookie J.C. Jackson was flagged three times, including an actionable easily to the face amends central the Pats 10-yard band that negated a third-down stop and led to a Chicago touchdown.
Jackson somehow blanket the brawl abroad from Joshua Bellamy for a diving interception in the third quarter.
Jonathan Jones fabricated an alike added absorbing interception aboriginal in the fourth. He appeared to be baffled by Anthony Miller on a abysmal bend route, but he recovered and snagged the one-handed pick.
The Pats toggled amid Jackson and Jason McCourty at No. 2 corner.
The final comedy was a crazy one, but Duron Harmon was in absolute position to abjure Kevin White the ambition band afterwards the 6-foot-3 receiver exhausted Josh Gordon and McCourty for the brawl on a Hail Mary.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus
Cordarrelle Patterson is a appropriate talent. The Pats will accept to alive with the casual gaffe.
Chris Hogan, James Develin, Dwayne Allen, Matthew Slater, and J.C. Jackson blocked able-bodied on Patterson’s 95-yard alpha acknowledgment TD. Patterson chock-full on a dime at the 30-yard line, watched Bears cornerback Kevin Toliver go aerial accomplished him, and again anon alternate to top speed. The comedy was over by the time Patterson accomplished his own 35.
Dont’a Hightower abandoned Bears bound end Ben Braunecker and blocked a punt with his , arch to a Kyle Van Noy touchdown. This was apparently the better comedy of the game.
The Pats adapted able-bodied afterwards Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel. Josh McDaniels generally activated trips sets, putting Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan on the aforementioned ancillary of the field. The Pats breach keeps cranking out 38-point games.
Defensively, Brian Flores alleged added blitzes than usual. They accomplished success sending assorted arresting backs at Mitch Trubisky. On a second-and-8 afore the blocked punt, both Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon rushed. McCourty was untouched, and Trubisky had to get rid of the brawl to abstain a sack.
The Pats were apathetic to acclimatize to Trubisky’s scrambling, though.
If their No. 1 ambition was to absolute Tarik Cohen’s big plays, they succeeded. The electric active aback acquired 20 yards on the final comedy of the aboriginal half, as the Pats were arena to anticipate the touchdown. Subtract that comedy and Cohen averaged 7 yards per t and 2.3 yards per carry. The Pats will booty that.
HEAD OF THE CLASS
CB Stephon Gilmore: The Bears handed Allen Robinson a arrangement account $42 actor this offseason. He didn’t accomplish a distinct t adjoin Gilmore.
OT Trent Brown: The Bears couldn’t get any burden off the edge. The 6-foot-8, 380-pound Brown is proving to be one of New England’s best offseason acquisitions.
WR Josh Gordon: A game-changer in the Patriots offense.
BACK OF THE BACK
CB J.C. Jackson: Yes, the interception was nice, but there were too abounding negatives. Three penalties and a 21-yard accession accustomed on third down.
Patriots LBs/Patrick Chung: They all buck some albatross for Trey Burton’s success in the average of the acreage and Mitch Trubisky’s scrambling.
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