Breaking down Branch's TD
CHICAGO -- Perhaps the lowest point -- in a game filled with low points for the Bears' defense in a 36-7 loss to the Patriots on Sunday -- occurred when New England quarterback Tom Brady hit Deion Branch on a 59-yard touchdown reception as time expired in the first half.
Although Lovie Smith said in his postgame press conference the Bears were sitting back in a Cover 4 -- the Bears responsibilities in Cover 4 are quarter-quarter-hash -- it appears they were actually in a Cover 2. It was rookie safety Major Wright who failed to provide adequate help over the top on the long score.
"We should have had someone back deep and we didn't," Smith said.
The Patriots sent two receivers vertically up the field on the right side of the Bears' defense with Wright and cornerback Charles Tillman. Instead of getting his proper depth, Wright bit on a Brady pump fake to the inside receiver. By the time he tried to recover, it was too late.
"It was me just being flat-footed reading, and me playing off Brady," Wright explained after the game. "He looked one way and went the other. Especially with seven seconds left, at the end of the half, I need to get a little deeper.
"It's just me. I got to get back and get there. That's it."
Cornerback Tim Jennings, who was on the other side of the field with veteran safety Danieal Manning, said the Patriot's play call itself caught the Bears by surprise. New England had run the ball on the previous play, before Brady decided to air it out with only five seconds remaining on the clock.
"You have to say it caught us off-guard because we were in a Cover 2," Jennings said. "We had two safeties high, but Tom Brady being a smart quarterback, he pump faked and got the defense to move. They made a play and we didn't."