Special teams issues doom Bears against Patriots

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The Bears managed very little resistance on Cordarrelle Patterson's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and Kyle Van Noy scored off a blocked punt in the second half of the Patriots' 38-31 victory.

"We definitely didn't play the way we wanted to play", Hicks said. White's long-awaited redemption story was not meant to be. To make things worse, in the second quarter they lost their leading rusher, rookie running back Sony Michel, to a knee injury.

New England also ruled out backup tight end Jacob Hollister, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, as well as defensive ends Geneo Grissom and John Simon. "From my vantage point, I thought he was in", he said.

Perhaps the biggest and most important cog in question is tight end Rob Gronkowski. "You gotta talk to [offensive coordinator Josh] McDaniels about it".

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In Gronk's absence, New England relied more on Gordon, now in his third game as a Patriot.

Against the Bears, Gordon - who was dealt to New England in September - notched his first 100-yard game as a Patriot.

The Patriots are left incredibly thin at running back, especially considering they placed Rex Burkhead on injured reserve earlier this season. White had 40 yards in addition to 57 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

The future Hall-of-Famer was 25-for-36 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. With Gronkowski out against the Bears, he came up big-time in a game where they really needed him to be a big-play weapon. Star outside linebacker Khalil Mack was limited all week with an ankle injury, and it showed in this game. "Before I knew it, I was just flat on my back". He also ran for a career-high 81 yards and a score.

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Braunecker wasn't exactly sure what happened right after the loss, but called the play "really unacceptable" and said he was embarrassed.

There were several instances where none of the Bears receivers were open or coming back to Trubisky after the quarterback had successfully escaped the pocket. Bears receivers have to be better for Trubisky in those situations.

The dramatic finish made the Bears' trouble on special teams all the more painful. "We had production from a lot of different people", Belichick said.

"It looked closer, I just saw him go up, catch the ball, and I just couldn't tell exactly where he was, how he came down, what the extra effort was, and then you could see on tape we were just a little short", Bears coach Matt Nagy said.

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