CHICAGO — Tom Brady held his breath as he watched the final play unfold from the sideline.

He saw Mitchell Trubisky heave the ball toward the goal line, Kevin White haul it in, and a swarming defense keep the ball out of the end zone. That was just enough to preserve another victory for New England. Brady threw for three touchdowns and the Patriots hung on to beat the Chicago Bears 38-31 Sunday when White was stopped at the 1 after a 54-yard pass from Trubisky.

About four or five defenders surrounded White after he leaped to haul in that long heave and spun toward the goal line. Some Bears players tried to push him across, but he was held just short of the goal line, sealing the fourth straight win for New England.

“You hold your breath when I saw him jump up and catch it,” Brady said. “I didn’t have the angle on the goal line. He was getting close to the end zone. They were pushing and we were pushing. It was probably a half yard or a yard, pretty close. Good for us to hold them out.”

Even if the execution wasn’t perfect.

“Just too many people around the ball,” said Josh Gordon, who was in on the play. “I went up to grab it. Somebody else went up to grab it. There was pushing and pulling, everything like that. He ended up with it, so it was a great play. … Fortunately enough, we were able to hold him out of the end zone.”

As for White?

“Just tried to fight and get in,” he said. “Tried to change the game, make a big-time play. So after I caught it, I thought I had a chance, like I said, for a split-second, and once I felt a bunch of guys, I knew it was over.”

The Patriots (5-2) got two special teams touchdowns and came out on top even though they were without Rob Gronkowski. The five-time Pro Bowl tight end missed the game because of ankle and back injuries. Brady improved to 5-0 against Chicago, one of five teams yet to beat him. He was 25 of 36 for 277 yards and an interception.

Cordarrelle Patterson ran a kickoff back 95 yards for his sixth career return TD. Kyle Van Noy became the first New England player in 22 years to return a blocked punt for a touchdown.

Gordon caught four passes for 100 yards. He spun past a tackler on a 55-yarder catch in the fourth that put the ball on the 1 and set up a 2-yard reception by James White to make it 38-24 with 8:40 left.

White had 57 yards receiving and two TDs. He also ran for a team-high 40 yards.

Julian Edelman had a touchdown catch. Rookie running back Sony Michel left in the second quarter because of a knee injury. But the Patriots beat the Bears (3-3) for the eighth time in nine games since the 1985 team got routed in the Super Bowl.

Chicago has dropped two in a row after winning three straight to take sole possession of the NFC North lead for the first time since 2013. The Bears’ three losses are by a combined 11 points.

“Coming up 1 yard short and not tying the game and going to overtime, that’s not good enough anymore,” Trubisky said.

Star pass rusher Khalil Mack was largely a nonfactor after being listed as questionable because of an ankle injury, often dropping back in pass coverage. And Trubisky struggled with his accuracy, though Coach Matt Nagy didn’t quite see it that way.

“A lot of people were out of rhythm,” he said.

The second-year pro completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for a career-high 81 yards and a score.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.