After squeaking by the Jets on Thursday, the Patriots had Sunday off. But this is the NFL, where there is no rest for the weary; next up: The the Bears come to Foxboro after another demoralizing home loss, this time to the Dolphins.
Pats coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media on Sunday to talk about an underachieving Bears team.
"We've seen quite a bit of them," the coach said. "They're an explosive offensive team, got a lot of big play players -- receivers, tight ends, quarterback, running back -- a lot of guys that can hurt you and hurt you in a hurry. Defensively, a good front, a good pass-rushing team, active linebackers and secondary, play quite a bit of zone coverage.
"They don't give up a lot of big plays and they do a good job defensively of getting you off the field with their front, causing negative plays, batted balls, turnovers off their zone coverages. Break on the quarterback who's under pressure, that type of thing. That's kind of what they do. A lot of talented players on offense, a lot of guys that can hurt you in a hurry, tough group overall to defend because of the number of skill players and schemes, multiple schemes that Marc [Trestman] uses."
Belichick's comments came before the Bears had imploded against the Dolphins, but it's not like the coach would go out of his way to say anything potentially inflammatory ahead of a game. Which explains his straightforward comments about Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler, who isn't a franchise quarterback because he's so inconsistent from one week to the next.
"Well, he has an excellent arm," Belichick began. "He can make any throw you want him to make. He's accurate on long balls, intermediate routes, on comebacks, inside cuts, good on the catch-and-run plays underneath the defense, smart guy. ...If a team sends something late and they have a free rusher, he sees those things, he doesn't get blindsided or miss them very often.
"He has a lot of weapons and he knows how to use them, their different skill levels there. He certainly knows how to use the size of the receivers and tight ends to put the ball where only they can get it, they can box out the defender. He gives receivers a chance to make plays on the ball. A lot of times they can just go up and box the defender out and rebound it, make a catch even though they're actually, technically covered but not covered well enough to keep them from catching the ball. Cutler does all those things pretty well and he's mobile. He's a hard guy to get in the pocket. He has quickness and ability to keep plays alive."
Cutler is also a turnover machine who can be rattled by pressure, which often leads to poor decision making. Belichick would never say that out loud but we'll do it for him.