FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Tom Brady's decision to run on two key
plays was a surprise. That he didn't fumble may have been more of a
Cutting on new artificial turf instead of the mud that was there
two weeks ago, Brady set up New England's decisive touchdown in a
turnover-filled game and the Patriots beat the Chicago Bears 17-13
"Must be the turf," Brady said. "I don't think that would
have happened a few weeks ago."
The Patriots (8-3) persevered despite five turnovers against the
Bears (9-2), who had allowed the fewest points in the NFL going
into the game with 120. New England was the second stingiest with
"Our defense took the ball, did a good job of that and we
didn't do such a good job with it," Chicago quarterback Rex
On third-and-9 at the Bears 14, Brady took off running for 11
yards, a scamper that left star linebacker Brian Urlacher behind.
"I'll tell my kids one day I slipped Brian Urlacher," Brady
said with a grin. "They won't believe me."
Brady also had a 3-yard run for a first down at the 3, capping
the drive with his 2-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson that
gave the Patriots a 17-10 lead with 8:22 left in the game.
Before that drive, the Patriots had turned the ball over three
times inside the Bears' 20-yard line against a team that leads the
NFL in takeaways.
But the Bears committed four turnovers, three on interceptions
by Asante Samuel. The last came with 1:46 left, clinching the
victory just six seconds after Chicago's Alex Brown had recovered
Corey Dillon's fumble.
"This is prime time against the team with the best record,"
Samuel said. "They like to go deep and it was something we were
The Bears didn't expect to be so sloppy.
"It's tough to win when you have four turnovers," Chicago
coach Lovie Smith said.
The Patriots won with five -- three fumbles and two interceptions
by Charles Tillman.
"It wasn't pretty, not at all," New England safety Artrell
The Bears capitalized on their fourth takeaway, Tillman's second
interception, and tied the game 10-10 just 7 seconds into the
fourth quarter on Cedric Benson's 2-yard run.
The Patriots then moved 73 yards and went ahead on Watson's
catch. On one play, Brady scrambled before completing a perfect
40-yard arc to Watson. Three plays later, Brady made his run and
his footing was secure enough for him to get up, plant his cleats
and deliver an emphatic first-down signal.
"I saw that and I said, 'Oh, Tom. Oh, Tom,'" Watson said with
a laugh. "But he put a move on Urlacher and made a great play."
That put the ball at the Chicago 14, and Watson scored five
The Bears' hopes ended with Samuel's interception of Grossman's
40-yard heave toward Rashied Davis.
With both teams coming off shutout wins, the game shaped up as a
defensive struggle. Not even the new FieldTurf, installed after
season-long problems with the natural grass caused players to slip,
made much difference for running backs trying to shake loose for
The first half ended with a bizarre set of plays. Two passes by
Brady that were ruled completions on the field were overturned on
That left rookie Stephen Gostkowski with a 52-yard field goal
attempt that went wide right. But Chicago had called a timeout
before the kick and Gostkowski's second try made it over the
crossbar. His longest kick of the season gave New England a 10-3
Both teams had trouble holding onto the ball early. On their
first three possessions, each team lost a fumble and an
interception. On Chicago's other series in that stretch, Robbie
Gould missed a field goal attempt for the first time in 25 tries
this year when defensive end Richard Seymour deflected the 45-yard
Linebacker Junior Seau, who came out of a brief retirement
to join the Patriots, didn't return after hurting his right arm in
the second quarter. ... Chicago had the leading gainers in
receiving and rushing -- Bernard Berrian with 104 yards on five
receptions and Thomas Jones with 99 yards on 23 carries. ... Kevin
Faulk set the Patriots record for career receptions by a running
back. His six catches Sunday gave him 262, one more than Tony
Collins. ... Chicago's losses have come against AFC East teams New
England and Miami.
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