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Fun-loving Rob Gronkowski helps get everyone in Patriots offense ‘clicking’

10.26.14 at 11:49 pm ET
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FOXBORO — There’s no doubt that when Rob Gronkowski plays like he did Sunday, everyone in the Patriots’ offense benefits. As a matter of fact, everyone gets better.

Just ask Tom Brady, who found Gronkowski nine times on nine targets for 149 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-23 demolition of the Bears at Gillette Stadium.

“It’€™s pretty sweet,” Brady said. “He was a big-time player today. It was great to get him going like that. Certainly running the ball was great. The guys up from played awesome. A lot of guys contributed. We got great play defensively. There were a lot of big plays and we got a lot of momentum, so it was a fun day. Those don’€™t happen like that very often.”

Don’t just take Brady’s word for it. Brandon LaFell had a career high 11 catches for a career best 124 yards and a touchdown. With Gronkowski covered in the second quarter, Brady found the other tight end – Tim Wright – racing the other way across the back line of the end zone for an easy touchdown.

Nothing symbolized Gronkowski’s dominance on Sunday than his 46-yard ramble through the Bears secondary for his third touchdown of the day. He disposed of three would-be tacklers on his way to pay dirt.

“Sometimes you see Gronk go out there and make a play like he made and you turn into a fan real quick, so it was a lot of fun today,” LaFell said.

It would be his last catch of the day as he left with dehydration. “Just have to drink more,” Gronkowski said with a wide smile that broke into a giggle when he realized the delicious irony of his words.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Chicago Bears, Gronk, New England Patriots

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down an epic game from Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell

10.26.14 at 8:06 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down Patriots romp over Bears, as Tom Brady throws for 354 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-23 win at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are now 6-2, and face Peyton Manning and the 6-1 Denver Broncos next Sunday for the top spot in the AFC.

Read More: Brandon LaFell, Chicago Bears, Chris Price, Denver Broncos

Akeem Ayers on recording sack in first game with Patriots: ‘That was a great feeling’

10.26.14 at 7:50 pm ET
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Akeem Ayers recorded a sack in his first game as a Patriot on Sunday (Jim Rogash/Getty Images).

Akeem Ayers recorded a sack in his first game as a Patriot on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It was a crazy week for Patriots linebacker Akeem Ayers.

Last week at this time Ayers was a member of the Titans, but he was officially traded to the Patriots on Wednesday. He was able learn everything he needed in four days and capped off the week by recording a sack in Sunday’s 51-23 blowout of the Bears.

“[There] was a lot going on,” Ayers admitted after the game. “Me having to get situated moving, meeting guys around the building, learning the playbook, meeting teammates, the schedule — everything was difficult early on, but everyone around here made it easy for me and they really worked with me. It made the transition a lot easier.”

The Patriots were leading 24-7 with Chicago having the ball at its own 15-yard line with 1:47 left in the half. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder was able to get through the line on the right side — after lining up in a hybrid defensive end position — and sack Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for a nine-yard loss.

Chicago punted two plays later, and after a great Julian Edelman return, the Patriots scored on their first offensive play — the second touchdown of a three touchdown in 57 second span late in the first half to blow open the game.

“That was a great feeling and was a real momentum builder,” Ayers said of the sack. “Something I can build off of and continue to work.”

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Brandon LaFell just having fun watching Patriots offense reach ‘a whole new level’

10.26.14 at 7:15 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Brandon LaFell looks like a man having a lot of fun. Who could blame him?

After all, not only did the big receiver look like the big-time Tom Brady target the Patriots were looking for when they signed him in March, he has a great view to watch Brady and Rob Gronkowski do their thing.

LaFell had career highs of 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 51-23 destruction of the Bears at Gillette Stadium Sunday.

But LaFell was like a kid in a candy shop Sunday. LaFell is not like some athletes who say they don’t watch games when they’re not playing. He’s exactly the opposite. He loves keeping tabs on other great players. It just so happens that two of them were on the same sideline with him Sunday. Gronkowski had three touchdown catches while Brady was nearly perfect, going 30-of-35 for 354 yards and five touchdowns in the rout.

“It was a lot of fun ‘€“ everybody catching the ball, everybody making plays,” LaFell said. “Sometimes you see Gronk go out there and make a play like he made and you turn into a fan real quick, so it was a lot of fun today.”

LaFell caught 11 passes on 11 targets from Brady and clearly had a good vibe going into the game.

“Yeah, we felt good. We knew they were going to play a lot of zone coverage, and we just go out there, have good spacing, catch the ball [and] protect the ball because those guys ‘€“ I think they lead the NFL since 2010 in takeaways, strip fumbles and stuff like that. We knew what type of game it was. We just had to go out there and execute,” LaFell said.

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Read More: Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

Tom Brady on 5-TD performance: ‘Everything was working’

10.26.14 at 6:52 pm ET
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One of the best days of Tom Brady's career allowed the Patriots to dominate the Bears. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady had his best performance in quite some time in Sunday’s win over the Bears. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Tom Brady‘€™s stat line read 18-for-21, 203 yards and four touchdowns — not a bad day’s work — in one half.

Those first-half numbers said what kind of day it was for the Patriots quarterback as he led the way in the Patriots’€™ 51-23 rout of the Bears.

Brady finished 30-for-35, throwing for 354 yards and five touchdowns in undoubtedly his best performance of the season. He’€™s now thrown five or more touchdown passes in a game six times in his career.

“We didn’t punt there until the middle of the third quarter, so it felt good at halftime,”€ Brady said. “Everything was working. You come in and you want to make adjustments at halftime, but really we were just sticking with the plan because we did a good job keeping them off balance and when we were throwing it, we had great protection and guys were making a lot of plays in the passing game. It was one of those days where that’€™s what we needed. They have a really good offense and we needed to get ahead of them and make them play from behind and we did that and that’€™s why it turns out the way it does.”

The Patriots’ signal caller threw three touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and also hit Brandon LaFell and Tim Wright in the end zone to account for the five touchdown passes. Overall, on passes to those three players he was 26-for-26 for 317 yards and five touchdowns.

For the game he finished with an 85.7 completion percentage, the second-highest in team history. Brady holds the record when he went 23-for-26 (88.4 percent) against Jacksonville in 2009.

“I love coaching Tom,” coach Bill Belichick said. “€œ[I've] been fortunate to have him [his] whole career since he’€™s been here. We meet at least twice a week, sometimes more. [We] spend a considerable amount of time together. I think that’€™s important to have that relationship between the head coach and the quarterback so at least we’€™re on the same page [with] what we’€™re trying to do.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

Darrelle Revis: Patriots-Broncos will be ‘battle of the AFC’

10.26.14 at 6:07 pm ET
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Darrelle Revis had four tackles, an interception and two passes defensed on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis had four tackles, an interception and two passes defended on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis sounds like a man excited about the prospect of facing Peyton Manning.

In the wake of Sunday’s 51-23 Patriots win over the Bears, the veteran corner was asked about what it will feel like to be a part of another battle between Manning and Tom Brady, as well as the the chance to gain the inside track in the race for the top seed in the AFC.

“It’s going to be exciting,” he said. “It kind of reminds me of back in New York when we played against the Patriots.

“We know what’s at stake. We know Denver is a great team. At the same time, we’re trying to accomplish something like they are too. It’s the battle of the AFC. We understand. We totally understand. It’s two great quarterbacks going against each other. We’re going to have to duke it out.”

In many ways, the offseason pickup of Revis and fellow corner Brandon Browner was geared toward slowing down Manning and the Denver passing game. Revis said he welcomes the challenge.

“These are the games you want to play for. I can speak for everybody who is on this team — we live for games like this for next week. We’re looking forward to it. It should be a great matchup,” he said. “We want this one. We really do. We’re a team on a mission. It’s going to be two great teams out there, and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ve been playing consistent,” he added. “We started off slow and we had to focus on certain things — you know, offense, defense and special teams — to tighten it down a little bit. Our technique. But we’re a confident team. We definitely are. Our record speaks for itself — we’re 6-2, and we’re going to continue to play confident because that’s the type of mentality we have as a team.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady,

Brandon Marshall on coming out on 4th-and-10 late in game: ‘Wack [question], bro’

10.26.14 at 5:35 pm ET
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Brandon Marshall was held to three catches on 10 targets against the Patriots Sunday. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Brandon Marshall was held to three catches on 10 targets against the Patriots on Sunday. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — When the doors opened to the Bears locker room following their embarrassing 51-23 loss to the Patriots, many expected a lot of yelling and screaming — especially after last Sunday’s scene following their loss at home to the Dolphins.

Instead it was a much different one — players with their heads down at their lockers, speechless at what just happened, as the Bears fell to 3-5 on the year.

Following last week’s loss, Brandon Marshall called it “unacceptable.” But, he wasn’t going there this week.

“That’s last week, brother,” he said. “That’s last week.”

What about this week?

“We lost. I hope that answers your question, bro. But, that’s last week.”

Marshall kept his cool for the most part this Sunday, but did become agitated towards the end of the interview when asked if it was an injury or fatigue leading to him coming out on a fourth-and-10 in the fourth quarter after running a deep route up the sideline.

“I love football and I want to play, so you can take that,” Marshall said. “I don’t give up, I’m a fighter, I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve fought my whole life. Whatever you’re trying to refer to, it’s wack to me. It’s wack, bro. It’s wack. It’s one play. I probably came out six times this game.

“I will say this you want to be on the field every single play, but it’s almost impossible to do that. You go out there and give it your all, a lot of exertion. Mentally, physically. Bad timing.”

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Read More: Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears,
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