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Given enough chances, Patriots make Bears pay

11/11/2002

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Tom Brady's poise and David Patten's
fancy footwork combined to give the New England Patriots one of their most memorable comeback victories.

Question on the Patriots: What do you expect from them over the final two months?
I thought the Patriots solved many of their problems last week in their big win over the Bills. They got RB Antowain Smith going, they got WR Troy Brown involved, and they limited the passes QB Tom Brady threw. The defense also played exceptionally well. Today, they did just enough in each category to pull out the victory. The Patriots should be in every game the rest of the way.

Question on the Bears: What are some of their major areas for improvement?
Actually, I believe their emphasis on the run needs to change some. I'm not talking about throwing the ball 40 times a game. But they need to get QB Jim Miller more involved and focus more on the passing game.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

With a wild finish that saw officials spend nearly as much time
viewing replays as patrolling the field, the Patriots came back
from a three-touchdown deficit in the second half to beat the
Chicago Bears 33-30 Sunday.

"When you're down three touchdowns in the third quarter, it
shows what kind of fight you have,'' Brady said after his 20-yard
TD pass to Patten with 21 seconds left gave the Pats an improbable
victory -- and sent the stunned Bears to their seventh straight
loss.

"We were down three touchdowns, and then we scored and we're
down two, and I said, 'Man, we've got a shot,' '' Brady added.

On a third-and-3 from the Bears 20, he found Patten in the back
of the end zone. Patten had a step on defensive back R.W.
McQuarters and dived to haul in the pass.

Officials initially ruled a touchdown, but they reviewed the
play. They upheld the ruling on the field, saying that Patten had
his right foot down and was able to drag his left foot in the end
zone before going out.

"That was one of the best catches I've ever seen under
pressure,'' Brady said.

McQuarters wasn't so sure it was a catch at all.

"From the looks of it, the receiver's foot was past the line,''
he said. I thought the second one was questionable. I guess it
could have gone either way. It hurts.''

"This was a wild one. I can't remember ever being in a game
like that one before,'' Pats coach Bill Belichick said.

Neither can the frustrated Bears. Their latest loss in this most
disappointing season was one they'll never forget.

Not once, but twice in the final minute, video replays didn't go
their way.

Chicago (2-7) took a 30-19 lead with 5:22 left on Paul Edinger's
32-yard field goal, and the Bears thought they had stopped New
England's final drive when defensive lineman Brian Robinson stepped
in front of Brady's pass with just under a minute left for an
apparent interception.

But Robinson juggled the ball as he was going down before losing
it. Officials initially ruled that he'd intercepted the pass and
fumbled before teammate Rosevelt Colvin recovered for the Bears.

But officials reviewed the play and said Robinson never had
possession, resulting in an incomplete pass. That gave the Patriots
one final chance, with a fourth down at the Bears 30 with 54
seconds to go.

It was reminiscent of the Patriots' playoff win over the Raiders
last season, when Brady's apparent fumble was reviewed and changed
to an incomplete pass.

New England (5-4) was out of timeouts, but Brady sneaked 3 yards
on fourth down to keep the drive going.

Then on first down, Brady spiked the ball, but officials ruled
that a whistle had blown before the play, and the Patriots got
another shot at first down before Brady threw an incompletion.

"I've never seen a game-deciding fourth-down play not
measured,'' Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "It clearly should have
been measured ... I don't understand how that happens.''

On second down, Brady somehow eluded a sack and shoveled a pass
to Kevin Faulk for a 7-yard gain before the Bears called time. Then
the pass to Patten.

The Patriots got to 30-25 with 2:46 left when Brady threw a
36-yard TD pass to Faulk before Brian Urlacher smothered Faulk on
an attempted 2-point run.

The Bears then had to punt, and the Pats began their
game-winning 56-yard drive with 1:50 left.

Adam Vinatieri kicked four field goals, including a team-record
57-yarder in the second quarter.

Brady completed 36 of 55 passes for 328 yards.

Jim Miller, who didn't start because of a sore elbow, entered
the game when Chris Chandler suffered a sprained neck. He threw an
11-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Pritchett to start Chicago's
three-touchdown third quarter.

Wide receiver Marty Booker hit Marcus Robinson on a 44-yard
scoring play as Chicago got three scores in less than six minutes.

Two of the scores were set up by Brady turnovers -- a fumble
recovery by Phillip Daniels after a sack by Alex Brown and an
interception by Urlacher.

Urlacher picked off Brady's pass at the New England 36 and after
Anthony Thomas broke off a 34-yard run, he carried the final 2
yards for the TD that made it 27-6.

Brady regrouped and led the Patriots on a 75-yard drive, hitting
all seven of his pass attempts for 69 yards, including a 15-yarder
to Faulk for the TD with three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Game notes
Chandler had a collar on after the game and said he should
feel better in a couple of days. ... Vinatieri and Matt Bahr shared
the record for the previous longest field goal in Pats history: 55
yards. ... Faulk had 109 yards receiving.