Pats Updated Tuesday Notebook after 38-31 Win Over the Bears

Sony Michel Injury Not As Serious As Previously Thought


Bill Belichick Disappointed in Pass Rush, Impressee With Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson

The only media access Monday was a Bill Belichick conference call in which he called out his pass rush in an attempt to try and motivate his defense. Most disappointing was the running ability of Mitchell Trubisky who had an eight yard touchdown run in the first quarter in which he ran about 60 yards and a long touchdown run at the beginning of the third quarter that led to another Bears touchdown.

"We didn’t do a very good job of rushing the passer – I mean, bad coaching, bad tackling, some bad playing, just not very good. I mean, he ran well, he broke a couple tackles, but not very good by us in any area," Bill Belichick said.

Bill Belichick did not say much with respect to whether the team might look for another running back given that the injury to Sony Michel is not serious.

"I think the answer to that is just we have to take it week-by-week and see how it goes, see what type of game plan we would want to evolve into and then who’s available on our side and how we’d want to distribute that. So, it would just really depend week-to-week on the answers to those questions, and they would probably be a little bit different ever week, too. So, we’ll just have to see how all that plays out. But, we have a ton of confidence in James. He does everything well for us. But, as you said, we don’t want to overload him, but at the same time, he’s certainly capable of doing a significant amount for our football team in a lot of different ways. So, we try to find a way for him to be productive without putting it all on his shoulders. Again, that’s a little bit of a week-to-week thing, though, too. Some weeks might be a little different than others," Belichick said.

Belichick was impressed at the interception of Jonathan Jones.

"On Jon’s play, that was a tremendous play where he showed his athleticism to be able to go up for the ball just at exactly the right time based on his recognition of the receiver’s actions and go up there and made a great catch. And J.C., this was on a scramble play and kind of a 50-50 ball there where [Mitchell] Trubisky threw it kind of right between the receiver and the defender. J.C. was able to get in there, get his hands in there and pull it away. Yeah, it was a great play by both players. Sometimes you’re the beneficiary of just an offensive mistake, but in those two cases, I thought those were great examples of good defensive plays where we kind of took the ball away from them, as opposed to they just gave us a good opportunity for it. We were able to get it away from them, so that was good," Belichick said.

A Great Pass Rusher in Coverage

One of the interesting parts about the Bears game plan was that on a lot of plays Khalil Mack went into coverage as opposed to rushing the passer. Mack, who was not a 100 percent (with a bad ankle) and looked slower than he normally does, was a non-factor Sunday. Tom Brady said it presents different challenges when Mack goes into coverage as opposed to when he rushes the passes. When a team pays Mack the kind of money that the Bears paid Mack, it would seem wise to have him rush the passer.

The Bears defense gave up 24 points to the Pats (Pats scored touchdowns on a kickoff return and on a blocked punt). Most disappointing, however, for the Bears was after Mitchell Trubisky threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to make the score 38-31 the Bears needed a stop to get Trubisky the ball back and the Pats gave the ball to James White eight straight times. White ran for 26 yards, two first downs and forced the Bears to burn their timeouts. It was a situation where the Bears knew the Pats were going to run the ball and they couldn't stop it. Bad, Bad.

Another Running Back Lost

When the Pats entered training camp, running back was a position where the Pats had strong depth. The Pats released Brandon Bolden and Mike Gillislee at the end of training camp. Then Jeremy Hill and Rex Burkhead were put on IR (both likely lost for the season). Sunday rookie running back Sony Michel went down with what looked like a serious injury. If Michel is out for an extended period of time, the Pats will have only two running back in James White and Kenjon Barner who has been on and off the roster since the season began.

Michel is the latest injury in a rookie class that has been decimated by injuries. Michel's Georgia teammate and fellow first round pick Isaiah Wynn was lost for the season in training camp with a torn achilles. Pats second round pick Duke Dawson has been on injured reserve and could come back the second half of the season. Pats fifth round pick LB Ja'Whuan Bentley who showed promise early in the season was also been placed on injured reserve with an arm injury. The biggest rookie contributor if Michel is out for a long time will be undrafted CB J.C. Jackson who appears after Sunday to be taking the second corner position. CB Keion Crossen has been a special teams player to this point.

Random Notes:

It was clear that Bill Belichick was not going to let Bears WR Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel beat them. Stephon Gilmore had a nice day covering Robinson who had only one catch for four yards. Not much better for Taylor Gabriel who had only three catches for 26 yards.The Patriots played a soft zone over the middle and the result was clear with Bears TE Trey Burton catching 9 passes for 126 yards. Bears RB Tarik Cohen was also effective at catching the ball with eight catches for 69 yards This is the fourth straight game the pats have scored at least 38 points and in three of the last four games they have scored exactly 38 points. The Pats gave up 470 yards of offense. Adrian Clayborn had his first sack. Deatrich Wise also had a sack with a nice dance. Pats play Bills next Monday Night.

The Pats tackles LaAdrian Waddle and Trent Brown played well. With the improved play of Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett has disappeared with only one catch for eight yards in the past two games. The Bills along with the Raiders and Cardinals are probably the worst teams in football. The Bills lost 37-5 to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. Get this Derek Anderson, 35 was their QB who hadn't started a game in two years prior to Sunday.