Maddeningly inconsistent at times, the New England Patriots nevertheless found a way on the road against the Chicago -- even survivng a last-second Haily Mary in the process.
The Patriots improved to 5-2 in a 38-31 win over the Bears, their first road win of the season, to gain sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
New England had two special teams touchdowns which served as sparkplugs, a Cordarrelle Patterson 95-yard kick return and a Kyle Van Noy 29-yard return for a touchdown after he scooped up a punt blocked by Dont’a Hightower.
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Patterson’s return marked a turning point in the game, as the Patriots were down 17-7 at the time -- partly due to a fumble lost by Patterson on an earlier kick return.
After facing double-digit deficits on the road in each of its first two games away from Foxboro this season, New England finally showed it was capable of clawing out of adversity.
Though the Bears regained the lead at 24-21 after its first drive of the second half, it was only a matter of time before the Patriots bounced back on top for good. A Stephen Gostkowski 29-yard field goal evened things up at 24-apiece before Van Noy's return exposed another special teams breakdown by Chicago.
Mitchell Trubisky threw for 333 yards for the Bears, the final 54 coming as time expired to Kevin White down to the New England 1-yard line. White leapt up and caught Trubisky's missle, but was stoned shy of the goal line by Duron Harmon.
Other than that, it was a very uninspiring day for Trubisky throwing the ball. He threw for two interceptions and could have had four -- Elandon Roberts and Stephon Gilmore each dropped balls which hit their chests in the end zone -- and barely completed 50 percent of his passes, finishing 26 of 50.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, was very sharp for the Patriots, save for a late interception that bounced out of the grasp of James Develin. He finished 25 for 36 passing for 277 yards passing and three touchdowns, two of which went to James White and the third to Julian Edelman.
Through seven games this season, White has 45 catches -- tied for sixth in the NFL and the most among running backs -- had six touchdown receptions, tied for the overall lead across the league.
The Patriots were without Rob Gronkowski for the game, and lost Sony Michel to an apparent knee injury in the first half -- the same play in which he lost a fumble.
New England is in action next week on Monday Night Football, again on the road, to take on the Buffalo Bills.