As the Monkees once sang, "I'm a believer." Even if you're younger than me and only recall the Smash Mouth version, you know what I mean. I believe in the Bears, even if most of the country has its doubts. But do I believe the Bears will beat the Patriots on Sunday at blustery Soldier Field?

In this crazy NFL season, anything can—and usually does—happen. In fact, the Pats lost to Cleveland in Week 9. Badly. Now, there are those that claim that was their wake-up call and that it means it is unlikely to happen again. Then there are those who believe, like me, that it shows this team is very, very good but not infallible.

The Patriots certainly looked dominant on Monday night against the Jets. But I seem to recall the last time the Bears were facing a red-hot QB and a good team during a week that favored the opposition, they won the game. So yes, it can happen.

But will it happen? It is a daunting task, to be sure. But if the Bears follow the advice laid out in these slides, they will get it done. I not only tell you how to beat New England, I give you my prediction at the end.

What more can you ask for?

Less Cover 2


The Cover 2, or more appropriately, the Tampa 2, is the base defense of the Chicago Bears. But they don't run it all the time. And less of it may be a welcome choice for the Bears on Sunday.

Running more of a 4-3 would not only confuse the Pats, who are expecting a heavy dose of Lovie's favorite defense, it would likely help contain those short passes that Tom Brady has used so effectively this season.

Giving those 7- to-10 yard cushions to Patriots wideouts and tight ends will only result in the opportunity for running room. And the RAC (run after catch) has been the hallmark of this offense all year.

Getting the linebackers into different gaps and doing more line stunts may be just the medicine for the Bears on Sunday.

Tackle, Tackle, Tackle!


Wrap 'em up, boys! That will likely be the prevailing words of wisdom for the Bears defense on Sunday. If you notice, Tom Brady throws a lot of short stuff that often turns into huge gains because of missed tackles.

If the Bears can avoid missed tackles, they will limit those short passes to short gains. And this will be a key to winning the football game.

Avoid Blitzing

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Brian Urlacher #54 of the  Chicago Bears awaits the start of play against the Minnesota Vikings at  Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears  defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Normally, I am a diehard pass-rush guy who loves to see an aggressive defense attack the quarterback. But this ain't the '85 Bears, folks. Besides, Brady gets rid of the ball so quickly that it just may not make sense to try and get to him. Instead, dropping back and limiting the run-after-catch from the Pats receivers may be more important.

Speaking of that great Bears team, Dan Marino burned them on a famous Monday night because of his quick release.

You're not going to rattle a pro like Tom Brady. And he knows how to avoid the rush and get rid of the football. Plus, we've seen Julius Peppers do a lot of good work dropping back into coverage. Hell, Brian Urlacher has made a living of it.

Run The Damn Ball!

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07:  Matt Forte #22 of the  Chicago Bears runs against the Buffalo Bills  at Rogers Centre on  November 7, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Chicago won 22-19.  (Photo by Rick  Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

I know, I know. The Bears offensive line is getting better but it is still not very good. But Bill Belichick and the Pats are good at taking away what the opposition is best at. That likely means they will focus on the passing game, which has been decent but not great of late. They will most likely look at limiting Jay Cutler.

In fact, ESPNBoston.com reported the following quote from the Pats head coach: “Cutler does a good job of spreading the ball around. He’s playing as well as any quarterback in the league."

That may be hyperbole, but Cutler has been limiting his mistakes and playing well since the bye week. So instead, the Bears need to cross them up and run the ball down their throats.

And if that opens up the passing game, all the better.

No, the Solider Field Turf is Not an Advantage


One thing I refuse to claim is that the Bears' horrible Soldier Field sod is any kind of advantage for the home team. Just how does bad turf benefit anyone? Sure, the Bears are more used to it, but if it gives at the wrong time, it's not like the Bears will get any advanced notice and side-step the bad spot, right?

It's going to be a problem for both teams.

But the Bears Fans Certainly Are!


The Bears are the home team and if the fans can yell and scream their team to victory, why not?

It's hard to find many faults in a terrific Patriots team this season, but both of their losses have been on the road, including the one at Cleveland.

Bring your lungs, Bears fans!

The Windy City Will Not Hurt the Patriots


The other common misconception is that the fierce winds expected for Sunday will be an advantage to the Bears. Again, not really, since Brady throws mostly short passes now, and those passes are not as affected by wind as deep balls are.

If you think about it, Brady has become the modern-day Joe Montana, dinking and dunking his way into the record books. Since Randy Moss left, the long pass is not as much of a threat any longer.

But the Takeaways Certainly Will!

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 19:  Cornerback Charles  Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium on September 19,  2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Bears take the ball away as well as any team, and it is the hallmark of their defense. In fact, Charles Tillman is better than anyone in the NFL at doing it.

The Bears have forced 16 interceptions and 10 fumbles. Sunday will be a huge test for the Bears as Brady has thrown only four INTs.

A Healthy Dose of Devin Hester

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Devin Hetser #23 of the Chicago  Bears returns a kick against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on  November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles  31-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bears kickoff returns have averaged 26 yards versus the Pats' 22 yards. New England has returned two TDs, however.

But punt returns are where the Bears have the advantage. Devin Hester & Co. have averaged 15 yards per punt return while the Pats average around 11. The Bears have two TDs to the Pats' none.

While New England has been very good at limiting the opposition's punt returns, Hester could be the difference.

Bears Defense Rules

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Michael Vick #7 of the  Philadelphia Eagles fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Julius Peppers  #90 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in  Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26. (Photo by  Jonath
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

New England's defense ranks last in the NFL in first-down yardage and in allowing third-down conversions. The Pats have allowed almost 50 percent of third downs to be converted this season. This plays right into the Bears' hands, as they have been much more successful on third down since the bye week.

The Pats have also allowed an NFL-worst 11 of 15 on fourth down.

Meanwhile, the Bears ranks sixth overall in these categories.

Prediction: Bears 20, Patriots 17

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07: Robbie Gould #9 of the  Chicago Bears kicks against the Buffalo Bills  at Rogers Centre on  November 7, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Chicago won 22-19.  (Photo by Rick  Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

This will be a stern test for the Bears defense but they are up to the challenge. They beat the Pats on a late field goal by Robbie Gould, 20-17.

Hey, Bears fans can dream, right? This win would give the Bears the respect they deserve.

By Bob Warja


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