The New England Patriots have been the model of consistency in the NFL for almost 20 years. They have had many different players come and go. Many players (most recently Pro Bowl Offensive lineman Logan Mankins) are cut and/or traded while they still appear to be playing at a high level. Quarterback Tom Brady had a stretch of time where he had Randy Moss on the outside and Wes Welker in the slot and those were the years where he was at his best. Now it seems that the Patriots have different receivers every year and it seems that no matter who the players are, the system that the organization has in place consistently produces a strong team. The Bears have been the model for inconsistency since their Super Bowl appearance in 2007. The defense has never returned to that elite level since and has had a revolving door of players both free agent and draft busts. Coach Marc Trestman was brought in a few years ago to spark the offense. He was supposed to specialize in quarterbacks and turn Jay Cutler into the consistent playmaker on par with his tremendous skill set. As of now none of this has happened as the offense has sputtered and Cutler continues to mix in bad play with his good play.
The Patriots started the season slow and suffered a 41-14 beat down at the hands of the hands of the Chiefs in week 4. However since that day they have returned to their old form. They have won 3 in a row including last weeks too close for comfort win over the rival Jets. New York has always played the Patriots tough and last Monday was no exception. The Jets exploited the worst part of the Patriot defense by consistently running the ball throughout the game. However the strength of the Patriots defense made sure that those long drives and runs would have a minimal impact as they held the Jets to 4 consecutive 1st half field goals when they were in the Red Zone each time. The Patriots defense will bend, however rarely break. The Patriots don’t have a true number 1 receiver and it seems that a different player steps up every week. Last week it was Danny Amendola who has been a big disappointment since signing last offseason. Amendola had 4 catches including a difficult grab in the 4th quarter that gave his team an 8 point lead.
The Bears are in the midst of controversy since word got out that star wide receiver was critical of his team and quarterback after last weeks disappointing 27-14 loss. Perhaps he said what needed to be said and it will spark his team to a much-needed win. Or it will only make things worse and the team will continue its downward spiral. Any team with receivers like Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, a tight end like Martellus Bennett and an elite running back like Matt Forte should score 14 points in any game.
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