Chicago (10-1) at New England (7-3) Sunday 4:15 pm EST
FOXBORO, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bears finish off
a three-game road trip against the best AFC team they will face
The New England Patriots have won three of the last five Super
Bowls under coach Bill Belichick and with Tom Brady at
quarterback. Sunday's meeting with Chicago may turn out to be
a preview of Super Bowl XLI in Miami.
The Bears are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the league's
best record after notching back-to-back road wins over the New
York Giants and New York Jets.
A win over the Patriots, coupled with losses by Minnesota (4-6)
and Green Bay (4-6), would give the Bears their second straight
NFC North title under coach Lovie Smith.
The Patriots are seeking their fourth straight AFC East crown.
They own a two-game lead over the New York Jets, but all three
of their losses have come at home this season.
Led by middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and a strong defensive
line, the Bears have allowed a league-low 12.0 points per game
with two shutouts. They have held opponents to 10 points or
fewer six times and lead the NFL with 29 takeaways.
Last week, Urlacher, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year,
compiled 11 tackles and an interception in a 10-0 victory over
The Patriots flexed their defensive muscle as well in a 35-0
triumph at Green Bay last week. Linebacker Mike Vrabel and
defensive end Ty Warren each had 1 1/2 sacks.
New England has allowed just 13.1 points per game and should
make things difficult for Rex Grossman, who completed just
11-of-22 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in the win over
Look for Chicago to try to pound the ball on the ground. Thomas
Jones rushed for 234 yards in the Bears' last two wins at the
But the Patriots stuffed Ahman Green last week, limiting the
five-time 1,000-yard rusher to 28 yards on 13 carries.
This should be a great game between two of the elite teams in the NFL. The Bears are coming off two impressive road wins vs. New York teams and return to the East Coast for their toughest contest. The AFC East-leading Patriots had their best overall effort of the season in Week 11 at Green Bay. New England had its backs against the wall after dropping two straight games and put up 35 points along with a dominating defensive shutout. This should be a hard-fought contest between two teams that have a chance to meet up again in early February.