Chicago Sun-Times

Defensive collapse starts up front

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Tom Brady tried to scramble but ended up in the arms of Brian Urlacher and Israel Idonije for a two-yard loss on the Patriots first series.

It was a good sign at the time. Pressure would be paramount to stopping Brady and the prolific New England offense.

Unfortunately for the Bears, it would be the last time they would sack Brady until the game was long decided. The three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback had so much time he was able to consistently covert third-and-longs while picking apart the Bears cover-2 defense en route to a convincing 36-7 win on a snow-swept late afternoon at Soldier Field.

"Even when you get pressure on him he'll find guys open," said defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who started for the first time since Week 2. "It was a tough deal. We have to get back to the drawing board."

With Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins back after a lengthy holdout, the Patriots have one of the better offensive lines in the league and perhaps the best unit the Bears have played against this season. Whether it was the Patriots line or the smaller, quicker Bears defensive line struggling to get a first-step advantage on the snowy field, the competition up front quickly turned into a mismatch.

Brady had plenty of time to covert a third-and-10, third-and-12 and a third-and-7 on their first scoring drive.

"The footing was difficult, especially when you're trying to get off," defensive lineman Henry Melton. "Their offensive line was coming off and pushing us back."

The Bears finished with three sacks but two came during mop-up time in the fourth quarter.

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Here's a tip for the defense. Tackle somebody instead of going for the strip. Five Bears players swarming one Patriot and he still moves the pile five more yards because the Bears are only concerned about the ball.

Does Mekton's comment make sense, we couldn't get off the line but they got off the line and pushed us back. If this was happening maybe they should have changed cleats.

Life in the trenches is never easy, but New England did not seem to have all that much trouble.What happened in the second half? At least there the Bears outscored the Patriots 7 to 3.Cbs stopped showing the slaughter, perhaps out of respect for the tender sensibilities of us Bear fans, but watching a competitive second half might have been fun.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 12, 2010 8:12 PM.

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