Tom Brady tossed two touchdown passes and the New England Patriots forced four turnovers in a 36-7 thrashing of the Chicago Bears in the wind and snow at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Brady completed 27 of 40 passes for 369 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (11-2), who officially secured a playoff berth with the victory.
Deion Branch caught eight passes for 151 yards and a score and Danny Woodhead rushed for a touchdown for New England, which tightened its grip on the best record in the AFC with three games left.
New England scored on five of its six possessions in the first half, jumping on the board in the first quarter when Brady hit tight end Rob Gronkowski with a 7-yard touchdown pass.
The Patriots piled on in the second quarter, driving 87 yards before Woodhead’s touchdown and turning two fumble recoveries into points, the last six when Brady found Branch down the left sideline as time expired in the half.
The Bears finally got on the board in the third quarter on Chester Taylor’s touchdown run, but Jay Cutler could not make anything happen in the passing game. He finished 12 of 25 for 152 yards and two interceptions.
Chicago (9-4) maintained its lead in the NFC North over the Green Bay Packers (8-5), who fell to the Detroit Lions earlier in the day.