Patriots

Must-read recap: Special teams help Pats prevail after a not-so-special effort

Must-read recap: Special teams help Pats prevail after a not-so-special effort

The Patriots were sloppy and nearly found themselves in overtime (except that Chicago's Hail Mary completion on the last play falls one yard short). But two special-teams touchdowns save the day and help the Patriots escape Chicago with a 38-31 victory over the Bears.

ALSO: Perry's six takeaways | Curran's Best and Worst

 

The Rob Gronkowski-less Patriots outlasted the Bears in the second half for a 38-31 victory in Chicago, and just barely. Though they led by multiple scores in the fourth quarter, the Bears came one yard away from getting in the end zone on a 54-yard Hail Mary (they needed 55 yards).

The Pats overcame a sloppy first half that saw them lose Sony Michel to injury, but some big plays on special teams, including a Kyle Van Noy fumble return for a touchdown, helped secure the win. 

How yicky that first half was. Also, how Josh Gordon stepped in and had his biggest receiving day as a member of the Pats. Gordon had four catches for 100 yards Sunday. He wasn't the only receiver to do things of note, however. 

If there are three things Bill Belichick hates, it's when his players fumble, when they showboat and when Derrick Mason mocks him on the field. Derrick Mason wasn't at this game because he's been retired for like seven years (I thought it was way longer than that), but Cordarrelle Patterson was able to check the other two boxes. 

Following a Bears field goal to get Chicago on the board with just under four minutes left in the first quarter, Patterson fumbled on the kick return, setting the Bears up at the New England 24 for the drive on which Mitch Trubisky would score a rushing touchdown. 

While Patterson was able to atone for that gaffe with a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown in the second quarter, he slowed up as he approached the end zone and gave J.C. Jackson a high five before strutting in for the score. 

So yeah, Cordarrelle Patterson might be a monster in Bill Belichick's eyes. 

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It's on hold for now. He left the game with a knee injury, which is not very promising considering that teams failed him in the pre-draft process because of the knee. 

Oh they sure didn't.

No, as the Bears had two fumble recoveries while the Pats had no takeaways. Elandon Roberts dropped an interception in the end zone in the second quarter and the Bears ran it in on the next play. 

Mercifully, yes. The Pats picked Trubisky twice in the second half. 

Kenjon Barner had a career-high 10 carries with Sony Michel out. As usual, however, it was James White who made the biggest difference out of the backfield, chipping in with two receiving touchdowns.

Tom Brady was sacked once all game and it was not by Khalil Mack. 

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NFL Rumors: Patriots hiring ex-Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch

NFL Rumors: Patriots hiring ex-Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch

The New England Patriots reportedly have made an addition to their coaching staff.

According to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe, they've hired ex-Los Angeles Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

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Fisch's official role with the Patriots offense is to be determined. But now that there's an opening at wide receivers coach with Joe Judge joining the New York Giants, Fisch could be a candidate for the job.

He brings plenty of experience to the table having coached Denver Broncos wide receivers in 2008 and Michigan receivers from 2015-16. Fisch also coached Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks in 2010 and was the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive coordinator from 2013-14.

What Jim Gray has learned from his weekly Tom Brady interviews

What Jim Gray has learned from his weekly Tom Brady interviews

For the last 10 years, Jim Gray has conducted weekly interviews with Tom Brady throughout the NFL season. Over that period of time, Gray has learned plenty about the longtime New England Patriots quarterback.

In a recent interview with the New York Post, Gray opened up about the admirable way Brady has approached each of his interviews on Westwood One Radio. It all started with a promise made by Brady 10 years ago that he's kept to this day.

"Meticulous, prepared, very responsive, on time, humble, he’s unbelievable really," Gray said. "He never says, “Don’t ask me anything.” If he doesn’t want to answer the question then that’s how he will respond to it, but there are no preconditions.

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"He wrote me a handwritten note 10 years ago now before we started this. It said, “I look forward to doing the show. You’ll get the same effort out of me on Monday nights that I give my teammates on Sunday afternoons.” And that has been the case, he’s never missed a show."

Although the Patriots' season ended weeks ago, Brady remains the center of attention in the NFL world. The 42-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time of his career on March 18.

Despite maintaining a close relationship with Brady over the years, Gray knows as much about the six-time Super Bowl champion's future as the rest of us. When Brady himself doesn't appear to know how his offseason will unfold, Gray says there's no reason to ask him about it.

"He doesn’t know," Gray said. "When he doesn’t know I am not sure how any of us can know. How many times can you ask the same question? As it evolves he will let us know. It’s not like he’s hiding something. I’ve asked him and he’s committed several times on the air to us that he’s playing next season. There’s not much he can be involved with outside the Patriots till March 18."

All signs point toward Brady returning for his 21st NFL season, so the weekly Westwood One interviews should continue. As for whether Brady will be a Patriot for his 11th year of interviews with Gray, that'll likely remain a mystery for the next couple of months.

Gray and Brady's final interview of the 2019-20 season will take place before Super Bowl 54 on Feb. 2.

Perry: How will Pats approach WR position this offseason?