By Andrew Carroll
After a rough start to the season, the New England Patriots appear to be back on track. After losing their first three games, they’ve won four straight, capped off by their 38-31 victory in Chicago on Sunday. At season’s start, the Patriots had trouble scoring the ball on offense, but in their last four outings, they averaged 39 points per game and outscored their opponents 157 to 102. The return of Julian Edelman from suspension has been a major factor for the offense. Adding star receiver Josh Gordon has been another key.
Two weeks ago, the Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the season. The Patriots got off to a hot start, scoring 24 points in the first half and forcing two turnovers while holding the Chiefs to 9 points. But in the second half, the Chiefs showed why they might have the most high-powered offense in the league. On their first three drives after halftime, the Chiefs scored, leading 30-26 going into the fourth. But the Patriots were able to withstand the blow, winning on a last second field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
On Sunday, the Patriots showed what their offense was capable of, scoring 38 points against the Bears’ top-rated pass rush defense. Brady looked strong, throwing for 277 yards and three touchdowns. But the story was the Patriots special team doing some heavy work. They scored on a 95-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson, then a blocked punt returned for a touchdown by Kyle Van Noy. The Bears made a late attempt to come back, but the Patriots’ defense held them on the last play of the game, securing the win and improving to 5-2 on the season.
The Patriots play the Buffalo Bills next Monday night at 8:15 pm in Buffalo on ESPN.
Featured photo is from The Chicago Tribune