Monday, October 27, 2014
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Brady, Patriots bury punchless Bears, 51-23

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[October 27, 2014]  FOXBOROUGH, Ma. -- Vince Wilfork offered a self-endorsement after his New England Patriots hammered the Chicago Bears 51-23 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

"It's going to be hard to beat us if we continue to play the way we played today," the Patriots' nose tackle said after New England captured a fourth straight victory. "It's going to be very tough for teams to come to beat us."

Next up: the high-flying Denver Broncos, who bring a 6-1 record to town next Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) in the latest Tom Brady-Peyton Manning matchup. The Bears have a bye week before traveling to Green Bay.

"It will be a great game. It always is," said Brady, who had another huge game on Sunday as the Patriots moved to 6-2.

Brady, making his 100th regular-season start at home, threw five touchdown passes and was near perfect as he improved to 87-13 as a home starter. Brady was 30 of 35 for 354 yards and four of the incompletions drops.

It was the third five-touchdown game of Brady's career and he holds the club record with a pair of six-TD pass performances.

Three of Sunday's touchdown passes went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had nine receptions but none after he left the game to be treated for dehydration following a 46-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter.

"It was good to get him going ... when he plays like beast mode he's tough to stop," Brady said of Gronkowski, who has 48 TD catches from Brady, the second-most in NFL history between a quarterback and his tight end (San Diego's Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have 69).

Another ominous sign to future foes: Brady is 100 of 144 for 1,268 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions during New England's winning streak, with the Patriots averaging almost 40 points per game during the current run.

Wide receiver Brandon LaFell had a career-high 11 catches for a career-best 124 yards and a touchdown and tight end Tim Wright had seven catches and a touchdown for the Patriots.

Running back Jonas Gray, in his second game since being added to the roster from the practice squad, ran for 86 yards in his first start.

"That was a pretty good day for us out there today," understated coach Bill Belichick.

Quarterback Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes and running back Matt Forte had 114 yards rushing and 54 yards and a touchdown receiving for the sliding Bears (3-5).

"I sound like a broken record, but we have to keep everything together and continue to work together," said defensive end Willie Young.

Said safety Ryan Mundy: "Right now we definitely are frustrated, upset and disappointed, all of those emotions. We have the bye week coming up so we will have an opportunity to get out minds right and get away from it -- refresh and recharge."

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Cutler finished 20 of 30 for 227 yards and an interception. He also fumbled on a sack and defensive end Rob Ninkovich picked it up and ran 15 yards for the touchdown.

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, guarded by cornerback Darrelle Revis, had just two catches and Revis an interception -- a week after his post-game locker room tirade following the Oct. 19 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots, who became the second post-merger team to score three touchdowns in less than a minute (57 seconds, late in the first half) scored all five times they had the ball -- and one time they didn't -- in the half to go up 38-7 at halftime.

"It was to our own doing. We have to accept that and it hurt us. It hurt us," said Bears coach Marc Trestman, who called the first half "unacceptable."

Asked about the New England 57-second outburst, Cutler called it, "Agonizing," and added, "We started off, had some conversions on third downs -- they were obviously converting and scoring so we got behind pretty quickly and didn't make it much of a ballgame."

NOTES: Bears DE Lamarr Houston suffered what appeared to be a knee injury after a sack dance made near the end of a blowout loss. ... DE Chandler Jones, who missed the game for New England, is expected to be out four to six weeks with a hip injury. ... Sunday was Brady's 61st 300-yard passing game; and his 17th with at least four TD passes and no INTs, tying him with Drew Brees for the all-time NFL record. ... LBs Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jon Bostic (back) were inactive for the Bears, who also lost LB Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) during the game. ... LB Akeem Ayers, acquired last week from the Tennessee Titans, made his Patriots debut and had a sack. ... Rookie CB Kyle Fuller, who suffered hand and hip injuries in the previous game against the Miami Dolphins, started for the Bears but left early because of the hip. ... CB Alfonzo Dennard was a healthy inactive for New England.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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