Where and when: October 21, 2018, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, 1:00 PM ET
The New England Patriots proved they are still the team to beat in the AFC after an offensive shootout for the ages with the Kansas City Chiefs. They’ll go on the road on Sunday in a pivotal meeting with a top-five defense in the Chicago Bears. That juggernaut defense featuring former Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack will be looking to rebound after losing to a Brock Osweiler-led Miami Dolphins team.
Brady magic carries the Patriots to another primetime win
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, but he might also be the most clutch athlete in any sport, period. In a wild, wild West-styled shootout with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the 41-year-old Brady was the last man standing. He was dropping dimes all over the field to various receivers, including a 39-yard teardrop right into the awaiting hands of tight end Rob Gronkowski that setup the game-winning field goal kick by Stephen Gostkowski.
Big plays, clutch catches & success in the run game.
Here's what went right last night. pic.twitter.com/2MGi61IK7H
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 15, 2018
We are witnessing the emergence of a much different offense than we saw earlier in the season when the Patriots suffered consecutive losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions.
Brady finally has his favorite receiver, Julian Edelman, back on the field, and the newest addition, Josh Gordon, appears to be absorbing the offense quicker than anyone thought possible. Rookie running back Sony Michel is also coming on strong and beginning to make a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He finished Sunday’s game with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Brady threw for 340 yards and one touchdown.
Bears’ defense lays an egg
The Miami Dolphins were without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and still managed to light up the vaunted Chicago Bears defense, which allowed 380 passing yards and two touchdowns to Osweiler. Perhaps the most shocking stat of the night was the fact that a defense led by Mack couldn’t even register a sack on a backup quarterback. Osweiler was working in a clean pocket for the most part and picking the Bears’ secondary apart.
After the game, Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd admitted the defense simply failed to execute.
.@Leonard90Flo: "It's giving us motivation to go out and prove that we're way better than what we displayed."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 15, 2018
Imagine what would happen if the Bears were playing against Brady and his plethora of offensive weapons. It’ll be a harsh reality if the Bears fail to clean things up by game day.
The offense has always taken the blame for the Bears’ struggles, but they were actually effective when playing against the Dolphins. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had another solid game, throwing for 316 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception. That followed a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where the offense scored 48 points, and he threw for 354 yards and six touchdowns.
- Bears are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games played in Week 7
- Bears are 1-3-1 ATS in last 5 games after giving up over 150 rushing yards the previous week
- Bears are 18-40-1 ATS in last 59 games after giving up more than 250 passing yards the previous week
- Bears are 13-39-1 ATS in last 53 games after earning more than 150 rushing yards the previous week
- Patriots are 19-8 ATS in last 27 games after a win
- Patriots are 10-4 ATS in last 14 games following an ATS loss
- Patriots are 14-5 ATS in last 19 games played on the road
- Patriots are 31-13 ATS in last 44 games
Updated on Oct 20 at 9:40pm EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Looks like the sharp have made a move on the Bears. The line has gone from New England -2.5 to -2, despite the fact that 76% of the bets are coming in on the Patriots. They must feel that the Bears defense will bounce back after a horrible showing against the Dolphins.
Injury / Weather Report
50’s and sunny. No weather issues for this one.
New England’s Injury Report:
Marcus Cannon (OL) is questionable. TE Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss the game due to a back injury.
Chicago’s Injury Report:
CB Prince Amukamara (11 Tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) is questionable as is WR Allen Robinson II (24 catches, 281 yards), LB Khalil Mack (5 Sacks), and DB Bryce Callahan (20 tackles). *Mack is expected to play but might be limited.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bears have yet to lose at home this season, but they also haven’t faced an offense with the same firepower as the Patriots. Granted, the defense is much better than it showed in the game against the Dolphins, but I don’t envision them faring any better in stopping “Tom Terrific” if they couldn’t even slow down Osweiler.
The often overlooked element of that game was the fact that Miami’s 35-year-old running back, Frank Gore, ran up and down the field on Chicago’s defense for 101 yards on 15 carries. Michel should be licking his chops for an opportunity to continue to pile up rushing yards, while simultaneously helping the Patriots play keep-away from opposing offenses.
I also have to believe Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s defense will play better in this game. His teams typically play well against young quarterbacks. Trubisky has shown some excitable traits to get people talking in Chicago, but he is certainly no Mahomes. If the Bears defense can’t slow down Brady, the former No. 2 overall draft pick could be in for a long night.
Prediction: New England Patriots (-3.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Bears defense showed some unexpected cracks in the secondary against the Dolphins, and I expect Brady to advantage of those same opportunities. There are simply too many weapons for the Patriots’ offense to expect the Bears to keep this to a low-scoring game. The over is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these two teams.
Prediction: Over 49.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Patriots offense just finished dropping 43 points on the Chiefs and 38 points in back-to-back games against the Dolphins and Lions. Meanwhile, the Bears defense gave up 31 points and 541 yards of total offense to a Dolphin offense with Osweiler as the starter. Brady and the Patriots looked great neutralizing Mack a year ago at a neutral site in Mexico City, when he still played for the Raiders. Not much will change in this game as the Patriots offense run up the score for a fourth consecutive week.
Prediction: Patriots total points (Over 25.5)