Patriots-Bears prediction

Posted Dec. 12, 2010 @ 11:47 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

It's going to be a cold, windy, snowy and wild day at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. The conditions will make it difficult for Tom Brady and Jay Cutler to throw the ball around the field. Protecting the football and maintaining drives will be key for both teams.

The snow will make it more effective for both teams to run the ball, and the Bears have a slight advantage with Matt Forté. But the Patriots have run the ball well, averaging 111.5 yards on the ground. But a lot of their success on the ground comes from Tom Brady's recent dominance through the air during the Patriots' current four-game winning streak.

The Bears have a better back, but they haven't had many games in which they have run all over teams. In fact, the Bears are averaging almost 10 yards less on the ground than the Patriots.

For Brady, his short-to-intermediate passing game may not be interrupted by the elements, while Cutler is more apt to chuck the ball downfield — and also more prone to turnovers.

Special teams will be key with the winds and both teams will do their best to avoid turnovers. Any big, momentum-shifting play could mean the game considering the elements.

The Patriots protect the ball better and take the ball away more often than the Bears, giving them a big advantage in a game like this. Neither of their backs have ever fumbled and Brady has yet to be slowed down. The Bears' defense has been great during their five-game winning streak, but they are facing a confident Patriots squad that just dropped 45 on the Jets.

Oh, by the way, Bill Belichick is 9-0 in snow games with the Patriots.

Prediction: Patriots 21, Bears 13