Patriots outlast Bears as last-second Hail Mary falls short

The Bears made them earn it, but the Patriots found a way on the road.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws during the first half of a game against the Bears on Sunday.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws during the first half of a game against the Bears on Sunday. –Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo
The Patriots overcame a pair of first-half turnovers and a 10-point deficit to earn their first road win of the season, 38-31, over the Chicago Bears. It was not easy. Tight end Rob Gronkowski did not play due to a back injury, and running back Sony Michel injured his knee on the first play of the second quarter and did not return.

The Bears almost tied it up on the final play of the game, when quarterback Mitch Trubisky lobbed a Hail Mary from his own 45-yard line. Wide receiver Kevin White was able to make the catch at the Patriots’ one-yard line, but was stopped short of the end zone by Duron Harmon and a bevy of defenders.

Fourth quarter

Patriots 38, Bears 31 (Final): The Patriots hold on to win as Kevin White is stopped at the one after catching a Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play.

Patriots 38, Bears 31 (0:24): Patriots run the clock down before punting back to the Bears, who are out of timeouts.

Patriots 38, Bears 31 (4:13): The Bears make it a one possession game on Trey Burton’s 11-yard touchdown reception from Mitch Trubisky.

Patriots 38, Bears 24 (6:24): Tom Brady is picked off by Chicago’s Kyle Fuller, allowing the Bears to take over at their own 37.

Patriots 38, Bears 24 (7:47): The Bears were forced to punt after Adrian Clayborn’s first sack as a Patriot set up a fourth and 20. The punt went just 38 yards, and the Patriots will start at the Chicago 43.

Patriots 38, Bears 24 (13:05): The Patriots extended their lead with a nine-play, 96-yard drive that culminated in James White’s 0ne-yard touchdown reception. The key play came on a 54-yard reception by Josh Gordon, who caught the ball at the Chicago 30, spun out of a tackle, and ran down the the Chicago one-yard line.

Patriots 31, Bears 24 (13:05): Jonathan Jones halts another Chicago drive, picking off Mitch Trubisky to give the Patriots the ball on their own four-yard line.

Third quarter

Patriots 31, Bears 24 (1:24): After getting one first down, the Patriots stall and are forced to punt. The Bears are called for holding on the play, and get the ball on their own 14.

Patriots 31, Bears 24 (3:38): J.C. Jackson picks off Mitch Trubisky, ripping the ball away from Bears receiver Josh Bellamy to give the Patriots the ball on their own 21.

Patriots 31, Bears 24 (5:53): The Patriots take the lead on their second special teams touchdown of the day. Dont’a Hightower blocked a punt, and Kyle Van Noy scooped up rumbled 30 yards for the score.

Patriots 24, Bears 24 (7:48): The Patriots drove down to the Chicago seven before the drive stalled, and settled for a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to even the score.

Bears 24, Patriots 21 (12:04): The Bears took the lead when Mitch Trubisky connected with Tarik Cohen for a six-yard touchdown pass. The Bears took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched down to the Patriots’ one-yard line in just three plays. A penalty moved the ball back to the six, where they converted on third and goal.


The Patriots got off to a fast start in this one, taking the opening kickoff and marching 75 yards on eight plays to seize a 7-0 lead. The drive was capped by a nine-yard touchdown reception by Julian Edelman.

The Bears would score the next 17 points though, aided by a pair of Patriots turnovers. The first came after Chicago had trimmed the lead to 7-3, when Cordarrelle Patterson fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. The Bears capitalized on Mitch Trubisky’s eight-yard scramble for a 10-7 lead.

On the first play of the second quarter, Sony Michel injured his leg and fumbled on the play. Chicago recovered at the Patriots’ 36 and would take the lead, 17-7 on Jordan Howard’s touchdown plunge from two-yards out. The drive was aided by several Patriots penalties.

Patterson atoned for his miscue on the next kickoff, fielding the ball at his own five and returning it 95 yards for a touchdown and pulling the Patriots to within 17-14.

The Patriots took the lead at the end of the half when Brady connected with James White for a five-yard touchdown.

Second quarter

Patriots 21, Bears 17 (0:14): Patriots were forced to punt. An unsportsmanlike conduct call on Keion Crossen call gave the Bears the ball at their 38.

Patriots 21, Bears 17 (1:38): Lucky break for the Patriots. After forcing the Bears to punt, the ball hits Edelman in the face mask and springs loose on their own four, before Julian Edelman is able to recover the fumble.

Patriots 21, Bears 17 (3:58): The Patriots regain the lead as Tom Brady connects with James White for a five-yard touchdown pass. Earlier in the drive, the Patriots rolled the dice on 4th and one, and converted on a 21-yard pass from Tom Brady to Josh Gordon to the Chicago 23.

Bears 17, Patriots 14 (9:46): The Patriots get the ball back at their own 35 after forcing Chicago to punt.

Bears 17, Patriots 14 (10:48): Cordarrelle Patterson atones for his earlier fumble, returning the kick 95 yards to pull the Patriots back to within a field goal.

Bears 17, Patriots 7 (11:05): Jordan Howard scores from two yards out to give the Bears a 17-7 lead. The critical play of the drive was a 17-yard completion on fourth and 8 from Mitchell Trubisky to Trey Burton to keep the drive alive. A Duron Harmon holding penalty also gave the Bears a first and goal, as did a J.C. Jackson hands to the face penalty.

Bears 10, Patriots 7 (14:51): Not a good start for the Patriots in the second quarter, as running back Sony Michel fumbles on the first play and the Bears recover on the Patriots 36. Michel was hurt and had to be helped off the field.

First quarter

Bears 10, Patriots 7 (0:59): Mitch Trubisky scores from eight yards out to give Chicago the lead. The Bears were facing third and eight, when Trubisky dropped back and was sealed off to his right. He spun back to his left, eluding Adrian Clayborn, and waltzed in for an easy score.

Patriots 7, Bears 3 (3:44): The Patriots turn the ball over on Cordarrelle Patterson’s fumble on the kickoff return. Bears take over at the New England 24.

Patriots 7, Bears 3 (3:50): The Bears get on the board on Cody Parkey’s 46-yard field goal, capping a 35-yard drive for Chicago. Mitch Trubisky completed a 22-yard pass to Trey Burton to get the ball in Patriots’ territory.

Patriots 7, Bears 0 (7:34): Patriots go three and out, throwing on all three plays, two of which were incompletions to Julian Edelman. Bears take over at their own 35 after the Patriots punt.

Patriots 7, Bears 0 (8:35): Chicago quarterback Mitch Trubisky scrambled 14 yards on third and 6 to keep the drive alive, but the Bears failed to keep it going on the next set of downs and were forced to punt. Defensive back Jonathan Jones provided great pressure to force an incompletion.

Patriots 7, Bears 0 (11:00): The Patriots got on the scoreboard first when Julian Edelman caught a nine-yard touchdown pass, capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Sony Michel began the drive with an 18-yard run, then followed it up with a 12-yard reception. James White came in to spell Michel and caught a 14-yard pass as well to move the ball to the Chicago 30.

Coin toss

The Bears won the toss and deferred. The Patriots will start with the ball.

Pregame scenes and observations


Patriots: DE John Simon, DL Geneo Grissom, TE Rob Gronkowski, T Marcus Cannon, TE Jake Hollister, OL Brian Schwenke, DL Keionta Davis

Bears: DB Marcus Cooper, FB Michael Burton, LB Kylie Fitts, OL Rashaad Coward, OL Bryan Witzmann, WR Javon Wims, DT Nick WilliamsPregame news

Gronk out: Rob Gronkowski has been ruled out for today’s game. He did not make the trip to Chicago with the team. Gronkowski was listed on the team’s injury report Friday with a back injury. He’s also been dealing with an ankle injury since Week 3.