The New England Patriots challenged the Chicago Bears in the Week 7 contest, and things look really good for their team. If you take aside Sony Michel’s injury, the Patriots are playing really well, even on a blocked punt.
This is a rather strange game on special teams for the Patriots. Cordarrelle Patterson and Julian Edelman fumbled returns in the first half, and they are some of the most sure-handed returners in the league. On the other hand, the Patriots marked two special teams touchdowns in the game. The first was made by Patterson after the terrible fumble in the first half. The second was scored in the third quarter after Dont’a Hightower blocked a Bears punt that was returned for a score by Kyle Van Noy. The score on a blocked punt put the Patriots ahead 31-24.
If you are into statistics, this is actually the first blocked punt that the New England Patriots returned for a score in two decades. The last time fans witnessed this was in 1996 when Tedy Bruschi managed to pull off the feat for the Patriots. It is really hard to believe in light of the Patriots’ overall dominance on special teams, but players focus more on field position than they focus on scoring when it comes to this part of the game.
Well, this did not let both Patterson and Edelman off of the hook for their mistakes at the beginning. However, it was not a loss, so it is actually fine. New England makes a point of not surrendering ground on special teams by stocking the unit with something you call underqualified players. They hire veteran gunners and returners, and put starters on the field on special teams. That’s how plays of this kind happen, and Patriots know how to do magic. Simple as that.