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Chicago at New England

Patriots finish perfect preseason, beat Bears

SportsLine.com wire reports

FOXBORO, Mass. -- A perfect record isn't good enough for Bill Belichick.

New England's coach said Wednesday night's 38-23 comeback win over the Chicago Bears was the worst of an exhibition season in which the Patriots went 4-0.

"We were erratic in every phase of the game, especially in the first half," he said. "We have a lot of work to do."

Whether he was trying to keep his players from complacency or making an honest assessment, Belichick found a believer in quarterback Tom Brady.

"The coach made a great point after the game," Brady said. "Now it's 0-0 and everybody's starting on the same playing field."

A strong exhibition season is no guarantee of success. The Patriots were unbeaten two other times, the last in 1981, but they went 2-14 in that regular season. They were 3-1 in each of the last two exhibition seasons and won the Super Bowl the first time but missed the playoffs last year.

The Bears (1-3) also are trying to rebound from a disappointing season in which they went 4-12 after making the playoffs at 13-3. They had just one exhibition win for the seventh time in 12 years.

The Patriots open their regular season at Buffalo, while the Bears start at San Francisco.

For the Patriots, fullback Patrick Pass, wide receiver Dedric Ward and cornerback Leonard Myers all strengthened their bids to stay with the team.

Pass had two touchdowns and a 59-yard kickoff return, Ward made five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown, and Myers returned a fumble 93 yards for a touchdown.

"A lot of people doubt my speed, but I don't run like a fullback," said Pass, who knows he still could be cut. "If it happens, it happens."

New England outscored the Bears 21-0 in the fourth quarter and outgained them 381 yards to 219.

Brady, who went 8-for-10 for 63 yards, left after the first play of the second quarter, an 8-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown that made it 7-7. Bears quarterback Kordell Stewart played only the first quarter, going 3-for-4 for 26 yards and a touchdown.

"I like the way that our team came out and ran the ball," Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "It's what we needed to see.

"We made a commitment to run the ball" on Wednesday, Jauron added. "We needed in the first three (games) to get Kordell comfortable with our team and our team comfortable with him."

Pass rebounded from a costly fumble that put Chicago ahead 23-17. Safety Cameron Worrell returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 18 seconds left in the third quarter. Brock Forsey's run for a 2-point conversion was stopped.

On the third play of the fourth quarter, Pass ran for a 21-yard touchdown. Adam Vinatieri's extra point made it 24-23.

They went up 31-23 when Pass scored on a 1-yard run. Ward, a free agent signed from Miami, caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Rohan Davey with 1:53 remaining.

"It was a successful preseason," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "We got through it healthy and that's the main thing."

Chicago moved the ball well on its first two possessions of the second half, but they resulted in a touchdown for each team.

The Bears moved from their 32-yard line to the Patriots 7 behind quarterback Rex Grossman. But on the next play, running back Rabih Abdullah fumbled, and Myers recovered and scored.

Chicago tied the game 17-17 on the next series on Grossman's 22-yard pass to Ahmad Merritt.

The Bears had taken a 7-0 lead on their second possession on Stewart's 3-yard pass to Marty Booker. They were the first points allowed in the first quarter by the Patriots in the exhibition season.

New England tied it on its next series on Brady's pass to Brown. Brady finished the exhibition season with six touchdown passes and no interceptions.


  • Patriots NT Ted Washington, obtained from the Bears on Aug. 19, was in Chicago tending to personal matters, Belichick said.
  • Backup quarterbacks posted good numbers. Davey was 13-for-24 for 201 yards and Grossman was 8-for-15 for 73 yards.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks for a receiver before heading to the bench early.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks for a receiver before heading to the bench early. (AP)


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Scoring Summary
TDMarty Booker, 3 Yd pass from Kordell Stewart (Paul Edinger kick is good), 2:36. Drive: 10 plays, 61 yards in 6:26.
TDTroy Brown, 8 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 14:55. Drive: 8 plays, 63 yards in 2:41.
FGPaul Edinger 51 Yd, 11:56. Drive: 6 plays, 21 yards in 2:59.
FGAdam Vinatieri 31 Yd, 2:13. Drive: 18 plays, 71 yards in 9:43.
TDLeonard Myers, 93 Yd fumble return (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 7:01.
TDAhmad Merritt, 22 Yd pass from Rex Grossman (Paul Edinger kick is good), 2:16. Drive: 8 plays, 63 yards in 4:45.
TDCameron Worrell, 30 Yd fumble return (Brock Forsey Run for 2 Pt. Conversion failed), 0:18.
TDPatrick Pass, 21 Yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 14:12. Drive: 4 plays, 70 yards in 1:06.
TDPatrick Pass, 1 Yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 5:28. Drive: 12 plays, 67 yards in 7:26.
TDDedric Ward, 9 Yd pass from Rohan Davey (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 1:53. Drive: 8 plays, 59 yards in 2:32.
R. Grossman8/157310
C. Sauter4/83000
K. Stewart3/42610
C. Chandler0/1000
R. Abdullah104408
A. Thomas737012
A. Peterson626016
K. Stewart3309
S. Pritchett1202
D. Lyman442015
A. Merritt122122
D. Terrell219018
E. Thurmon218013
J. McKie2806
B. Wade1808
D. Clark1505
J. Gilmore1404
M. Booker1313
New England
R. Davey13/2420110
T. Brady8/106310
A. Smith947010
F. Moreau934011
P. Pass930221
K. Faulk51406
R. Davey1101
L. Centers1-10-1
D. Ward5100136
R. Trafford341019
D. Graham124024
T. Brown32018
D. Patten320011
K. Faulk115015
T. Davis113013
L. Centers111011
D. Branch1808
F. Baxter1707
P. Pass1505
Complete Player Stats