Rob Gronkowski doesn't travel to Chicago, ruled out by New England Patriots

Patriots O Line rounding into shape just in time to counter ferocious Bears

Patriots O Line rounding into shape just in time to counter ferocious Bears

White pulled in the ball at the one-yard line just before Patriots receiver Josh Gordon could get a hand on it from behind him.

But when it was over, nobody on the Bears was kidding himself thinking that one yard was so decisive on a contest that they viewed as a litmus test agagainst a perrenial championship contender. "We're letting each other down, we're letting our fans down and we don't want to do that". And Trubisky struggled with his accuracy, though coach Matt Nagy didn't quite see it that way.

"My legs just got taken out from under me and before I knew it I was flat on my back", he said. For the optimistic among us, there are at least three.

The Bears (3-3) played sloppy in all three phases of their game. So far in 2018, he has 400 rushing yards for four touchdowns. The defense scuffled for a second straight week, allowing Tom Brady and his offense to control the game.

That's two games in a row, both Bears losses, where the opponents had a clear objective.

In Gronk's absence, New England relied more on Gordon, now in his third game as a Patriot.

Chicago's (not very) special teams got progressively worse from there.

"Special teams errors just in general are inexcusable", said a sullen Ben Braunecker, a backup tight end who was unable to stop Dont'a Hightower on the blocked punt. "But it is what it is". But the Patriots beat the Bears for the eighth time in nine games since the 1985 team got routed in the Super Bowl.

Trubisky was striving to prove himself playing against a future Hall of Famer in Brady. With Gronkowski out against the Bears, he came up big-time in a game where they really needed him to be a big-play weapon.

- Patriots defense has up-and-down day.

"We have a really good team, and we have to figure out how to capitalize on that big-play momentum and learn how to finish games out", Hicks said. "In a ideal world, you'd love to get into the end zone for that, but we were a little far away, and into the wind".

Losses like these are already getting old for the Bears, who fell from first place in the NFC North to a tie for last. Credit the Bears' front for stopping the Patriots in that phase, even shorthanded as they were.

"The standard is higher", Trubisky said.

"We're just going to keep developing our confidence in one another", he continued. But they did a good-enough job against Trubisky through the air to get out of Chicago with the W, and if not for the turnovers the game might not have been as close anyway.

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