Final

Bears 13

(9-2, 5-1 away)

Patriots 17

(8-3, 3-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, November 26, 2006

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 0 3 0 1013
NE 0 10 0 717

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 267 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: T. Jones (CHI) - 23 CAR, 99 YDS

Receiving: B. Berrian (CHI) - 5 REC, 104 YDS

Give and take: Pats get turnover-filled win over Bears

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Tom Brady's decision to run on two key plays was a surprise. That he didn't fumble may have been more of a shock.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The game between the Patriots and the Bears was a struggle between two great defenses. Nine turnovers (several in the red zone) was the story of this game. Tom Brady (above) continues to use talented tight end Ben Watson as his favorite receiver (six grabs, one touchdown). The Patriots only generated 85 yards on the ground, but were able to overcome five turnovers and the fact they allowed 153 rushing yards to keep pace with the top AFC teams.

Cutting on new artificial turf instead of the mud that was there two weeks ago, Brady set up New England's decisive touchdown in a turnover-filled game and the Patriots beat the Chicago Bears 17-13 Sunday.

"Must be the turf," Brady said. "I don't think that would have happened a few weeks ago."

The Patriots (8-3) persevered despite five turnovers against the Bears (9-2), who had allowed the fewest points in the NFL going into the game with 120. New England was the second stingiest with 131.

"Our defense took the ball, did a good job of that and we didn't do such a good job with it," Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman said.

On third-and-9 at the Bears 14, Brady took off running for 11 yards, a scamper that left star linebacker Brian Urlacher behind.

"I'll tell my kids one day I slipped Brian Urlacher," Brady said with a grin. "They won't believe me."

Brady also had a 3-yard run for a first down at the 3, capping the drive with his 2-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson that gave the Patriots a 17-10 lead with 8:22 left in the game.

Before that drive, the Patriots had turned the ball over three times inside the Bears' 20-yard line against a team that leads the NFL in takeaways.

But the Bears committed four turnovers, three on interceptions by Asante Samuel. The last came with 1:46 left, clinching the victory just six seconds after Chicago's Alex Brown had recovered Corey Dillon's fumble.

"This is prime time against the team with the best record," Samuel said. "They like to go deep and it was something we were expecting."

The Bears didn't expect to be so sloppy.

"It's tough to win when you have four turnovers," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said.

The Patriots won with five -- three fumbles and two interceptions by Charles Tillman.

"It wasn't pretty, not at all," New England safety Artrell Hawkins said.

The Bears capitalized on their fourth takeaway, Tillman's second interception, and tied the game 10-10 just 7 seconds into the fourth quarter on Cedric Benson's 2-yard run.

The Patriots then moved 73 yards and went ahead on Watson's catch. On one play, Brady scrambled before completing a perfect 40-yard arc to Watson. Three plays later, Brady made his run and his footing was secure enough for him to get up, plant his cleats and deliver an emphatic first-down signal.

"I saw that and I said, 'Oh, Tom. Oh, Tom,'" Watson said with a laugh. "But he put a move on Urlacher and made a great play."

That put the ball at the Chicago 14, and Watson scored five plays later.

The Bears' hopes ended with Samuel's interception of Grossman's 40-yard heave toward Rashied Davis.

With both teams coming off shutout wins, the game shaped up as a defensive struggle. Not even the new FieldTurf, installed after season-long problems with the natural grass caused players to slip, made much difference for running backs trying to shake loose for big gains.

The first half ended with a bizarre set of plays. Two passes by Brady that were ruled completions on the field were overturned on video review.

That left rookie Stephen Gostkowski with a 52-yard field goal attempt that went wide right. But Chicago had called a timeout before the kick and Gostkowski's second try made it over the crossbar. His longest kick of the season gave New England a 10-3 halftime lead.

Both teams had trouble holding onto the ball early. On their first three possessions, each team lost a fumble and an interception. On Chicago's other series in that stretch, Robbie Gould missed a field goal attempt for the first time in 25 tries this year when defensive end Richard Seymour deflected the 45-yard try.

Game Notes
Linebacker Junior Seau, who came out of a brief retirement to join the Patriots, didn't return after hurting his right arm in the second quarter. ... Chicago had the leading gainers in receiving and rushing -- Bernard Berrian with 104 yards on five receptions and Thomas Jones with 99 yards on 23 carries. ... Kevin Faulk set the Patriots record for career receptions by a running back. His six catches Sunday gave him 262, one more than Tony Collins. ... Chicago's losses have come against AFC East teams New England and Miami.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
NE
1st Downs2120
Passing 1st downs
913
Rushing 1st downs
96
1st downs from penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
7-167-16
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays7167
Total Yards324352
Yards per play4.65.3
Total Drives1113
Passing171267
Comp-Att
15-3422-33
Yards per pass
4.98.1
Interceptions thrown
32
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-50-0
Rushing15385
Rushing Attempts
3634
Yards per rush
4.32.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-32-3
Penalties5-314-81
Turnovers45
Fumbles lost
13
Interceptions thrown
32
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:0228:58

Passing Leaders

CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman15/341765.2031-5
NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady22/332678.1120-0

Rushing Leaders

CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones23994.3017
Benson10464.6116
NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Dillon11403.6026
Maroney13332.518

Receiving Leaders

CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Berrian510420.8047
Muhammad33712.3018
NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Watson68714.5140
Caldwell35719.0022

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERCHINE
neTD9:08Laurence Maroney, 1 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 92 yds, 5:05
07
chiFG4:09Robbie Gould 46 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 46 yds, 5:03
37
neFG0:06Stephen Gostkowski 52 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 27 yds, 1:43
310
FOURTH QUARTERCHINE
chiTD14:57Cedric Benson, 2 yd run (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 53 yds, 1:14
1010
neTD8:25Benjamin Watson, 2 yd pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 73 yds, 6:31
1017
chiFG3:36Robbie Gould 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 66 yds, 4:51
1317