ReFo: Bears @ Patriots, Week 8
The Chicago Bears traveled to New England yesterday, hoping to improve to 4-4 moving into their bye week. Instead, a disastrous second quarter saw the Patriots head to the locker room with a 38-7 halftime lead.
Tom Brady had one of the best performances of his career, and the Patriots are playing their best football of the year. The Bears are now three games behind Detroit in the NFC North, and will need to use the bye to regroup for the second half of the season.
Chicago Bears – Performances of Note
Lamarr Houston, DLE: -2.9
Breakdown: Houston’s overall grade was the worst of any Bears’ defender, as the defensive end converted 33 pass rushes into just one pressure, an unblocked sack in the fourth quarter.
Signature Play: With 3:24 left in the game, Houston sacked Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo, his first sack of the year. He then pulled a Stephen Tulloch, appearing to injure his knee while celebrating the play, and left the field on a cart.
AL Louis-Jean, CB: -2.6
Breakdown: Louis-Jean was no match for Brandon LaFell (+3.7) in this one. After replacing the injured Kyle Fuller, Louis-Jean ended up being targeted more times (7) than any other Bear. The results were not encouraging, as the undrafted rookie allowed Brady to complete all seven passes, for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Signature Stat: LaFell caught 6-of-6 passes for 73 yards and 1 TD when covered by Louis-Jean.
Jay Cutler, QB: -2.3
Breakdown: Cutler struggled under pressure, and ball security continues to be a major issue. His fumble late in the second quarter on a sack was returned for a touchdown, giving the Patriots a 38-7 lead. Cutler finished 1-5 on passes thrown 20+ yards, including an intercepted hail mary near the end of the first half.
Signature Stat: Cutler earned a -0.4 grade on 22 drop-backs with no pressure, and a grade of -2.0 on 12 drop-backs under pressure, including both of his turnovers.
New England Patriots – Performances of Note
Tom Brady, QB: +8.9
Breakdown: Brady was nothing short of unstoppable, and his performance will earn him a spot on our Page of Fame. Brady’s 5 incompletions consisted of 3 dropped passes, one pass defensed and one miscommunication, meaning that he had zero incompletions due to off target passes. In his previous seven games, Brady had a PFF passing grade of +6.2, before earning a +10.6 in that department yesterday.
Signature Stat: Brady finished 11-of-12 for 203 yards and three touchdowns on passes thrown 10+ yards.
Rob Gronkowski, TE: +6.7
Breakdown: The Bears were unable to stop or even slow down Gronkowski in the passing game, as Brady finished 9-9 (against six different defenders) for 149 yards and three touchdowns when targeting his star tight end.
Signature Stat: Gronkowski’s +1.9 run blocking grade was his first green grade of 2014 as a blocker. Gronkowski’s blocking ability separates him from other elite tight ends when he is at his best, and he appears to be just about fully recovered from last year’s knee injury.
Darrelle Revis, CB: +3.6
Breakdown: Revis’ grade was the best of any Patriots’ defender, thanks in no small part to his work shutting down Brandon Marshall. Cutler had a QB Rating of 6.3 when targeting Revis.
Signature Stat: Revis allowed just 1 of 6 passes for 11 yards to be completed in coverage of Marshall, including a pass defensed and an interception.
PFF Game Ball
Tom Brady earns the game ball, and now ranks fourth among all quarterbacks with a +16.4 season grade.