Old power vs. new power

The New England Patriots have heard the whispers that Humpty Dumpty is poised for a great fall.

More than any other year in recent memory, this decade’s most dominant team is toeing the ledge precariously this season, using a patchwork assemblage of players.

Although the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots, at 7-3, were not in the big game last season, every team prepares for the Patriots as if they were. That includes the 9-1 Chicago Bears, who travel to Foxboro, Mass., Sunday.

Bears coach Lovie Smith is well aware of one of the constants inside the revolving door at the Patriots’ facility.

“[Quarterback Tom Brady] looks like a Hall of Fame quarterback every time I see him and that’s where he’ll end up, too, once it’s all done,” Smith said. “You look at his record — it’s a big challenge for our defense. We haven’t played a guy like this in a while.”

The Bears already have playoff gold in sight. If they win, and Green Bay and Minnesota lose this week, Chicago earns at least a share of the NFC North.

“Some guys can probably think that far ahead, but I can’t,” Smith said. “I can tell you a lot about New England and we have a tough game against them this week. We’re trying to get that 10th win and that’s about all I can handle.”

Smith is rightfully cautious. Despite their record, the Bears have looked inconsistent at times, particularly with quarterback Rex Grossman guiding the offense. Even with the occasional stumble, the Bears have been the class of the weak NFC this season.

Brady, a former Serra High School star, will shoulder a tremendous burden in trying to avoid Chicago’s relentless defensive attack.

“I think [coach] Bill [Belichick] might kill me for saying this, but it’s because he’s the best,” Patriots fullback Heath Evans said of Brady. “He’s a competitor. He gets a tenacity about him week in and week out. Some weeks, we give him time and he’s able to pick teams apart.”

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said Friday he expected San Francisco to enter the purple tier within days. (Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Media Co)
SF still in the red but expects move into purple tier ‘some time soon’

Four more counties moved into highest COVID-19 risk category by state

The area near the Castro Muni Metro Station is expected to be affected by construction work on the Twin Peaks Tunnel, with lane closures on Market Street and some loss of parking. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Construction on Twin Peaks Tunnel to begin November 30

Area around Castro Muni Station will see greatest impacts including lane closures on Market Street

Cal Junior Quarterback Chase Garbers completed 28 of 42 passes 315 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions in his last game against Oregon State. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Big Game: Stanford at Cal

What: The 123rd Big Game When: Friday, 1:30 p.m. Where: Memorial Stadium,… Continue reading

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces charges against former SFPD Officer Christopher Samoyoa in the 2017 fatal shooting of Keita O’Neill at a press conference outside the Hall of Justice on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
DA Boudin charges fired SFPD officer with manslaughter over fatal shooting

Ex-Officer Christopher Samayoa to face criminal charges in killing of Keita O’Neil

Most Read