CHAMPAIGN (AP) – Tom Brady’s poise and David Patten’s fancy footwork combined to give the New England Patriots one of their most memorable comeback victories. With a wild finish that saw officials spend nearly as much time viewing replays as patrolling the field, the Patriots came back from a three-touchdown deficit in the second half to beat the Chicago Bears 33-30 yesterday.
“When you’re down three touchdowns in the third quarter, it shows what kind of fight you have,” former Michigan quarterback Brady said after his 20-yard TD pass to Patten with 21 seconds left gave the Pats an improbable victory – and sent the stunned Bears to their seventh straight loss.
“We were down three touchdowns, and then we scored and we’re down two, and I said, ‘Man, we’ve got a shot,'” Brady added.
On a third-and-3 from the Bears 20, he found Patten in the back of the end zone. Patten had a step on defensive back R.W. McQuarters and dived to haul in the pass.
Officials initially ruled a touchdown, but they reviewed the play. They upheld the ruling on the field, saying that Patten had his right foot down and was able to drag his left foot in the end zone before going out.
“That was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen under pressure,” Brady said.
McQuarters wasn’t so sure it was a catch at all.
“From the looks of it, the receiver’s foot was past the line,” he said. I thought the second one was questionable. I guess it could have gone either way. It hurts.”
“This was a wild one. I can’t remember ever being in a game like that one before,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said.
Neither can the frustrated Bears. Their latest loss in this most disappointing season was one they’ll never forget.