Good, bad and worse: How the Bears fared in their Week 7 loss to the Patriots
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Some weeks are better than others for the Bears.
Here’s how three Bears fared in Sunday’s 38-31 home loss to the Patriots:
With Allen Robinson feeling the effects of a groin injury and the Patriots focused on taking the deep ball away from Taylor Gabriel, the Bears leaned on tight end Trey Burton.
He responded, setting career highs with nine catches and 126 yards. He caught an 11-yard touchdown with about four minutes left to pull the Bears within seven.
“Trey stepped up,” coach Matt Nagy said. “Trey Burton had a good game, and so when that happens, other guys can step up, and I thought overall our offense for the most part — especially when you’re down, and you’re in almost a one-dimensional type game where you’re throwing all the time, our guys did a pretty good job.
The Bears’ outside linebackers were nowhere to be found Sunday.
Perhaps that’s because Vic Fangio played them in coverage against Tom Brady. And perhaps the Bears’ coordinator did that due to Khalil Mack’s injured right ankle.
Nonetheless, Mack, Floyd and Aaron Lynch never touched Tom Brady. Floyd had three tackles. Mack’s lone tackle was in coverage. And Lynch doesn’t appear on the Bears’ stat sheet.
Defensive end Akiem Hicks seemed annoyed when asked about the Bears dropping Mack into coverage.
“I can’t get into Khalil plans,” he said. “I don’t know what Khalil does. I don’t know what he’s eating for dinner tonight. I don’t know what he’s eating for breakfast.”
Ben Braunecker and Kevin Toliver can share the honors.
The Bears gave up two touchdowns on kicking plays.
The first was a 95-yard Cordarrelle Patterson kickoff return, in which he reached almost 21 mph and juked Toliver, a Bears cornerback, by shifting right at the last season.
“It’s not hard,” Toliver said. “It’s a football play, and I have to make that play next time.”
In the third quarter, the Patriots’ Dont’a Hightower blocked a Pat O’Donnell punt by trucking over Braunecker, a tight end. The ball was returned 29 yards for a Kyle Van Noy touchdown.