Tom Brady tossed three touchdown passes and the New England Patriots held on for a 38-31 victory at Chicago on Sunday when the Bears’ late Hail Mary attempt came up a yard short.
Brady completed 25 of 36 passes for 277 yards with two touchdown passes to James White and one to Julian Edelman with one interception. New England (5-2) added two special-teams touchdowns thanks to a 95-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson and a 29-yard blocked punt return by Kyle Van Noy.
Mitchell Trubisky completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two picks for Chicago (3-3). Trubisky and Jordan Howard each rushed for a score, while Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton each hauled in touchdown passes.
The score was tied at 24 late in the third quarter when a blocked punt led to a go-ahead touchdown for New England. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower crashed through the line to bat down a punt by Pat O’Donnell, and Van Noy scooped and scored.
New England made it 38-24 when Brady zipped a 2-yard pass to White for his second touchdown reception of the game. It was set up by a 55-yard completion from Brady to Josh Gordon.
Chicago pulled within 38-31 on an 11-yard score by Burton with 4:13 to go. However, the Bears could not complete the comeback as Kevin White was stopped at the 1 after a 54-yard Hail Mary heave from Trubisky.
The Patriots earned their first road victory of the season despite playing most of it without running back Sony Michel, who left in the second quarter with an apparent left knee injury. The rookie was helped off the field and carted to the locker room after his leg twisted awkwardly as he was being tackled.
The Patriots were already shorthanded without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who sat out with back and ankle injuries.
Brady made up for the absences of two key starters. He rarely felt pressure from the Bears, whose star linebacker Khalil Mack played through an ankle injury that limited him in practice during the week.
The Patriots struck first with an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the opening possession. Brady tossed a screen pass to Edelman, who bounced off a couple defenders for a 9-yard touchdown.
Chicago scored the next 17 points to seize a double-digit lead. Trubisky (8 yards) and Howard (2 yards) each rushed for touchdowns during the outburst.
New England responded with back-to-back touchdowns by Patterson and White to take a 21-17 lead into halftime.
A 29-yard field goal by the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski evened the score at 24 after Cohen’s 6-yard grab for the Bears.
–Field Level Media