It was billed as Super Bowl XX Redux, and also a prospective glimpse into this year’s Super Bowl: Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots is one of the most important regular season NFL games to happen in Chicago in a very long time. The result was a laugher that was decided long before halftime.
The Pats went into the locker room, and out of the Ice World of Hoth leading the Bears 34-0. This made the NE Patriots became the first team in football to clinch a playoff berth and it also produced their 5th straight games with 30+ points.
On Monday, New England will shoot up to #1 in all NFL power rankings, if they aren’t there already.
The blowout score made me so happy I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on tickets to this game. I know people think they’re “tough,” “cool” and “bad ass” for enduring weather like this. But really, it only makes you “frost-bitten” “hypo-thermic” and “sent to intensive care.”
By Paul M. Banks
Tom Brady passed for 369 yards, a new season high as the Patriots dismantled the Bears in the blizzard conditions 36-7. Like I predicted on Thursday, they would not have trouble with the snow, ice and wind. You can pass, and pass often in the wintry conditions. Forget those myths you’ve been told, you can get vertical in the passing game on fields that resemble hockey rinks.
And again the Pats kept doing damage on a good defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers are giving up 15.9 points per game (2nd in the NFL), New England scored 39. The Raven are 4th at 16.8 per game, the Pats scored 23 on them. The New York Jets rank 6th at 19.3, and the Pats averaged 29.5 in their two meetings. Chicago is giving up an average of 16, and today Brady and company scored 36.
Perhaps the highlight play of the game, no matter what side you’re on (because it was just that inspiring), came in the final seconds of the first half. With 14 seconds left, Brady and the Patriots offense took their time getting to the line, and snapping the ball. Everyone at Solider Field thought they were content to sit on their 27 point lead and head into the nice, warm locker room.
Common sense dictated they weren’t going to do anything at all before the half and then boom- right down field! Brady throws a strike to Deion Branch on a deep sideline route. Touchdown! As the Patriots are known to go for the jugular, to always step on your throat when they’re up…I guess it was somewhat expected.
But the Chicago Bears did not see it coming.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com
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