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Anatomy of a Drive: Urlacher Couldn't Do It All

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Brian Urlacher

    By the final drive of the first half in the Bears loss to the Patriots, the game was already out of hand. Chicago was down 27-0, and the chances of the Bears coming back were slim. But that last score heading into halftime put a dagger into the heart of the Bears, demoralizing the defense as they went to the locker room.

    Just after the two-minute warning, a Brad Maynard punt and a New England penalty -- which negated a return touchdown -- combined to put the Patriots on their own 20-yard line with just 1:38 left in the half and just one timeout.

    BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed to the left for 1 yard gain -- Green-Ellis' modus operandi was to either barely gain a yard, or break free for at least 10. This time, he could hardly move his feet.

    Tom Brady passed to Deion Branch to the left for 19 yard gain
    -- With Charles Tillman covering him, Branch had no problem making the catch for first down and then adding yardage to it. Tillman couldn't even make the tackle after allowing the catch, as Brian Urlacher had to run Branch down.
     
    Brady incomplete pass down the middle
    -- While under pressure, Brady made an ill-advised pass over the middle of the field that went to Urlacher's hands. Unfortunately, Urlacher could only bat it down, not catch the ball. An interception at this point could have meant a very different game.

    Danny Woodhead rushed to the right for 1 yard gain -- Urlacher easily stopped Woodhead, forcing the Patriots to third and nine from their own 41-yard line. With 0:08 left, all the Bears needed to do was hold the Patriots on this next play. Just one stop, and they could head to the locker room, warm up, and regroup.

    Brady passed to Branch to the left for 59 yard touchdown. Shayne Graham missed PAT
    -- Tillman and Major Wright must have had their minds on the hot cocoa waiting for them, because they clearly weren't thinking about Deion Branch. After Brady had plenty of time to throw he saw that Branch had beat Tillman and was open. Branch took Brady's bomb into the end zone for a score with no time left on the clock, completely untouched by Wright.

    Urlacher can't be everywhere, Bears. Though he tried, he can't cover Brady, stop the rushing game plus get downfield to cover Branch. That was Tillman and Wright's job, and they fell down on it.