Key Matchup: Bears' Pass Rush Slowing Down Tom Brady

Key Matchup: Bears' Pass Rush Slowing Down Tom Brady
Can the Bears' pass rush slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense in Foxborough on Sunday?

Tom Brady has been ridiculously good at Gillette Stadium in his NFL career and specifically against the Bears.

Brady owns a 3-0 career record against the Bears, completing 85-128 passes for 964 passing yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions and a 94.7 passer rating.

Since 2009, the Patriots are 40-3 in Foxborough. Bill Belichick's crew currently holds the longest current streak in the NFL with 12 straight home victories dating back to Week 15 of the 2012 season.

New England started the new season off rather slow posting a 2-2 record, losing two games on the road to Miami and Kansas City. Brady averaged only 198 passing yards through four games. He was also sacked nine times as the offensive line adapted to life without All-Pro guard Logan Mankins.

However in October, Brady has started to turn things around in a big way. The Patriots are a perfect 3-0, including earning two home wins against Cincinnati and division rival New York.

He's averaging 305 passing yards and is completing just a little over 64 percent of his pass attempts over the past three games. Brady has been turnover free, tossing nine touchdowns compared to zero interceptions.

The Patriots offensive line has hung tough in front of Brady, allowing just three sacks the past three weeks against very tough defenses, including league-leading Buffalo, who has 24 on the season.

The Bears will have their hands full considering how dominant the Patriots have been at home in the past. You never want to play against a red-hot Brady, but the Bears will have to find ways to slow him down on Sunday.

Some good news for the Bears is the fact that they've racked up seven of their 19 sacks in two games played on FieldTurf. Willie Young leads the way with three and Stephen Paea has two in those two outings.

The Bears' defense ranks eighth in the NFL with their 19 sacks, a drastic improvement thus far from last season when they finished with a league low 31 sacks.

“We’ve been playing well on the road, so we have to prepare. You can’t look at it like we’re going to face Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots," Bears defensive end Jared Allen said on Wednesday. "We have to look at it as we’re going to play a football game and we have to win situational battles and we have to win the turnover margin. If we can do that, we have a chance to win the game.”

Young is currently tied for second with a slew of defensive ends for the most sacks (7) behind only Denver's Von Miller with eight.

The return of Jeremiah Ratliff sparked the Bears' defense last week as the veteran generated 3.5 sacks as much as he had the past three seasons combined. Paea has a career-high four and Allen has come on the past two weeks with 1.5.

The rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton have made strides with 21 tackles, two sacks and four pass deflections combined.

Lamarr Houston is still without a sack on the season and has just seven tackles. In his lone game against the Patriots in 2011, the 27-year-old Houston had five tackles.

Sacks would be nice, but right now Houston is barely even sniffing the box score which isn't good. He signed a five-year, $35 million deal back in March with $15 million guaranteed. His cap hit will be $6.9 million next season.

The Bears have to pressure Brady to have a chance in this one. If you can make things uncomfortable for the 37-year-old Brady you have a chance.

He doesn't have the weapons he once had in the Patriots heyday, but he still has three talented playmakers in tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Julian Edelman and running back Shane Vereen.

Thoughts on the Bears' chances at stopping Brady and the Patriots offense this Sunday?

A Look Back

Here's to hoping this doesn't happen this time around as the Bears visit Gillette Stadium for the first time since November 2006.

Top Game of the Week

According to Ticket City, the Bears-Patriots matchup ranks as the top NFL game of the week with an average ticket price of $283. The Packers-Saints matchup is right behind at $262.

 

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