Given Gronkowski's importance to New England's offense, bettors began to hop on the Bears shortly after the news broke. Luckily Duron Harmon came in to help wrap him up and seal the 38-31 win.
Hicks said it's the Bears' job to pass rush as effectively as they can - even when the game plan calls for them to rush three or four players rather than to blitz with five or six rushers coming.
"The Hail Mary, the guy caught it, it was super close", James White said.
The rookie first-round draft pick was off to a good start on the field with four carries for 22 yards. The 4-yard loss set up a field goal for the Patriots, who tied the game then at 24-24 in the third quarter. That led to the Patriots' third touchdown of the game, which gave them the lead they'd take to halftime. Gordon finished with 100 receiving yards even, his first 100-yard outing as a Patriot.
- Special teams make a big difference on a turnover-filled day.
This game came down to one yard, and White's 54-yard completion when he really needed 55 was just one of several game-changing plays at Soldier Field on Sunday.
- Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who blocked a punt that Kyle Van Noy returned for a touchdown in the win, held his postgame media scrum directly in front of one of the Patriots locker room's two exits, resulting in a few amusing exchanges with teammates passing by on their way to the bus. Patterson's 95-yard kick return touchdown made up for his fumble and kept the Bears from pulling away.
The jumper on the play was wideout Josh Gordon, playing a role usually filled by injured tight end Rob Gronkowski. Also can't forget that Julian Edelman muffed a punt, but recovered his own muff. While he has not officially been ruled out, things are not looking good.
Meanwhile, the defense did spend the week preparing in case Mack wouldn't be able to play against the Patriots.
But for the first time this season, the unit struggled to do the most important part of their job: Tackling.
The Bears were 1 yard short from tying or beating the just-too-good Patriots.
They scored two plays later on a two-yard James White reception. However in trying to intercept the ball from behind the receiver, who was a few yards outside the end zone, Gordon left them vulnerable when the catch was made.
But the Bears still have plenty to prove in 2018, with this at the top of the list: Can this team be a playoff contender with a quarterback trending in the right direction, but still going through the growing pains of inexperience? Not a flawless day for the defense, which also allowed a rushing touchdown to Jordan Howard and a touchdown catch to receiving back Tarik Cohen.
Chicago carried that momentum all the way to the end zone to take a 10-7 lead following a Trubisky 8-yard touchdown run.
- Sony Michel's injury hangs over the win. Michel had steadily been making progress as the Patriots' early down back, but the obvious fear now is he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Fortunately for the Patriots, Kenjon Barner looked decent after he had to get more snaps at running back.