Brian Urlacher prepares for Tom Brady
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It's been a little over four years since the Chicago Bears last played the New England Patriots, but players still remember the juke Tom Brady put on Brian Urlacher late in the Patriots' 17-13 victory in Foxboro.
"That was pretty cool," Brady told reporters after the game. "I can tell my kids one day that I beat Brian Urlacher."
With New England driving to take the lead in the fourth quarter, Brady eluded Urlacher and ran for 11 yards to pick up a critical first down on third-and-nine. A few plays later, Brady hit tight end Ben Watson on a two-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the game-winning score.
"I'm pretty sure Brian slipped on that," Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said on Wednesday. "And I'm pretty sure he won't be slipping this week."
The Bears (9-3) host the Patriots (10-2) on Sunday in a game between two of the NFL's elite squads.
"We all remember that play," Briggs said. "That game was a memorable [one] for me, and probably for a lot of us because it was a hard-fought game. Turnovers were going back and forth.
"We thought that was the team we were going to see in the Super Bowl. The stage is set once again. This is a huge game for both of us."
In the postgame locker room in 2006, Urlacher owned up to being fooled by Brady on the play. He assumed the quarterback was simply going to slide.
You may get pressure on him, you may hurt him a little bit, but he's smart, has a great arm and knows everything. Big challenge for us, and he runs fast, too. I remember he's really fast. Good runner.” -- Brian Urlacher
Fast forward four years, and Urlacher didn't claim to slip Thursday when asked about the play.
"No, that's not how I remember it, but that was nice of [Briggs] to say that," Urlacher said. "I remember me going this way, and him going that way. That's how I remember it. First down. First and goal."
Urlacher praised Brady's savvy on Thursday, and he even offered some slightly sarcastic praise about Brady's scrambling ability, considering the quarterback is credited with 17 yards rushing on 28 carries.
"He knows what to do with the football, he knows where to go with the football every time," Urlacher said. "You're not going to trick him. You may get pressure on him, you may hurt him a little bit, but he's smart, has a great arm and knows everything.
"Big challenge for us, and he runs fast, too. I remember he's really fast. Good runner."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.