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Bears set to battle Patriots on road


FOXBORO, Mass. – The Bears will look to rebound from last weekend's disappointing loss to the Dolphins when they visit the New England Patriots Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Playing their fifth contest away from home in the last seven weeks, the Bears (3-4) hope to improve to 4-1 on the road and climb back to the .500 mark overall.

The Bears defense will face three-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP and nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady, who remains at the top of his game at the age of 37.

"He's a Hall of Fame quarterback and he does everything right all the time," said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. "He's very precise in everything he does. He has command of the huddle. They have a nice tempo to everything they do. There's not really a look that you can give him that he hasn't seen before a million times. They just do an overall great job and he's their No. 1 competitor."

Brady is 3-0 all-time against the Bears, having passed for 964 yards with six touchdowns, three interceptions and a 94.7 passer rating.

This season he has thrown for 1,705 yards with 13 TDs, two interceptions and a 96.3 rating that ranks 10th in the NFL. In leading the Patriots to wins over the Bengals, Bills and Jets the past three weeks, Brady has passed for 914 yards with nine TDs and no interceptions.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears will battle the NFL's top-ranked pass defense. Led by shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Patriots have allowed an average of just 208 yards through the air this season and are tied for second in the league with 14 takeaways.

Since 2009, the 49ers have the fifth best home record in the NFL at 32-10-1 and the Falcons are one slot behind them at 31-12. The Bears beat both San Francisco and Atlanta on the road this season and now play the team with the best home winning percentage over that span.

The Patriots are an impressive 40-3 at Gillette Stadium since 2009, losing only to the Giants 24-20 in 2011 and the Cardinals 20-18 and 49ers 41-34 in 2012. New England has won 12 straight home games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

"New England does it better than just about anybody," said defensive end Jared Allen. "Very rarely do they get beat on their home field. [But] it is still the National Football League and you see bizarre things happen every week.

"We've been playing well on the road, so we have to prepare. You can't look at it like we're going to face Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. We have to look at it as we're going to play a football game and we have to win situational battles and we have to win the turnover margin. If we can do that, we have a chance to win the game."

The Bears trail the all-time series with the Patriots 8-4 and have won just one of seven meetings since defeating New England 46-10 in Super Bowl XX on Jan. 26, 1986.

The Bears lost their last meeting to the Patriots 36-7 at Soldier Field on Dec. 12, 2010. New England scored 26 points in the second quarter in surging to a 33-0 halftime lead, the largest halftime deficit in Bears history. Brady passed for 369 yards with two touchdowns and a 113.4 passer rating.

In two career games against the Patriots, Jay Cutler has completed 29 of 52 passes for 320 yards with one TD, four interceptions and a 48.6 passer rating. He's ranked fourth in the NFL with 177 completions, sixth with 1,866 yards, tied for fifth with 14 TDs and 12th with a 94.4 passer rating.

The Bears rank 17th in the NFL in offense (24th rushing and 10th passing) and 17th in defense (14th against the run and tied for 19th versus the pass). The Patriots rank 18th in offense (20th rushing and 15th passing) and 12th in defense (24th versus the run and 1st versus the run).

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