Coming off of a difficult loss can be good or bad. After the season opening loss to the Packers, the Bears went on a 3-game winning streak. Could we see the start of another winning streak against the New England Patriots?
Both teams are coming off of emotionally—and physically—draining games. The Patriots won their game, and against on conference opponent that could be a playoff preview. The Bears on the other hand lost to a team in a different conference, it was in the way that they lost that made it draining. Could this be a game that the Patriots come out a little flat with less playoff implications on the line?
Keys to the Game
Follow the Template: The Chiefs scored 40 points last week, the Eagles hung 41 in the Super Bowl, and the Chiefs opened last season by put up 42 on the Pats in week 1 of the 2017 season. These are the last 3 games for the Patriots defense versus an Andy Reid offense, or a disciple of Reid. There has obviously been a lot of success with this system versus the Patriots. The template is there, it’s up to Matt Nagy to follow it.
Watch your Step: It is well known that Tom Brady needs to have a place to step up into the pocket. While edge pressure is always good, interior pressure is what typically causes Brady to have a poor game. The interior of the Patriots offensive line is suspect, this would seem to be an advantage to the Bears. If the Bears can exploit this mismatch, it could be the key to slowing down a high-scoring Patriots offense.
The X-Factor: Trick plays are a staple of Bill Belichick’s Patriots teams. So far we have seen a bit of trickery from Matt Nagy as well. This game could very well come down to which team is able to execute a trick play at the opportune time and which team is unable to stop the other. From the classic Tom Brady flea-flicker to the Willy Wonka, I expect these coaching staffs to try and pull a rabbit or two out of their hats.
What are your keys to the game? If the Bears want to avoid slipping back to .500 and lose their status as the surprise team of the 2018 season, then they are going to need to pull out a victory here.