Brady out, Garoppolo throws TD as Pats beat Bears 23-22
FOXBOROUGH >> Tom Brady sat out his second straight preseason game, while the guy that will replace him at the start of the regular season continued to make progress.
Brady did not go through pregame warmups Thursday night and never made it to the field for the New England Patriots' 23-22 win over the Chicago Bears. He had been expected to make his debut after missing last week's game to attend memorial services for a family member.
Jimmy Garoppolo will start the first four games of the regular season while Brady serves his "Deflategate" suspension, and he made the most of the extra playing time.
Asked about a report that Brady accidently cut his hand pregame, coach Bill Belichick said it was his call to only play Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett.
"I made the decision for him not to play tonight," Belichick said.
Garoppolo threaded a 16-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to A.J. Derby late in the first half for his first TD pass of the preseason. He played the entire first half and one series in the second half, finishing 16 of 21 for 181 yards.
Jay Cutler and Chicago's offense started the game with a lot more pep following an anemic effort in the opener last week.
The Bears gained 78 yards of offense in the first half of their 22-0 loss to Denver last week. Chicago gained 59 yards in its first drive Thursday and surpassed last week's total in its second possession.
Cutler played three series, completing 8 of 12 passes for 83 yards. Jeremy Langford also had a nice game, rushing eight times for 55 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots are away for their final two preseason games, so Thursday marked Brady's last opportunity to play in Foxborough until at least Oct. 16. His four-game suspension ends Oct. 3, but New England plays at Cleveland on Oct. 9 in what is expected to be Brady's regular-season debut.
Bears: DL Jonathan Bullard, a third-round pick out of Florida, and Georgia first-rounder LB Leonard Floyd got together to corral Brissett for a sack late in the third quarter.
Patriots CB Cyrus Jones continues to make a case for playing time in an already stacked New England secondary. He came away with his second turnover in two weeks, this time stepping in front of Bears backup quarterback Brian Hoyer's first pass for an interception in the second quarter. He had a fumble recovery last week.
Bears: Though he never got a clean hit on a Patriots quarterback, Floyd did force some quick throws, and was one of the few positives for Chicago's reserves. ...TE Rob Housler showed off some speed with a 52-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter.
Patriots: Tight end A.J. Derby may have put some distance between himself, Bear Pascoe and Clay Harbor in the competition for the third tight end spot. Derby was all over the field, catching six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. WR Chris Hogan, an offseason free agent pickup, took off his noncontact jersey this week during practice and had a solid debut for the Patriots. He had four catches for 53 yards.
Bears: CB Jacoby Glenn started in place of Kyle Fuller (sore knee), but left in the third quarter with a concussion. TE Zach Miller and WR Eddie Royal both sat out Thursday's game as they recover from concussions.
Patriots: WR Julian Edelman was held out as he continues to take it easy after having a minor procedure this spring on his surgically repaired left foot. TE Rob Gronkowski, also sat out for the second consecutive game after leaving the first practice of the week early with an undisclosed issue. WR Malcolm Mitchell (left elbow) was also out.
Bears: Coach John Fox on the offense's effort this week: "We were disappointed in our performance last week. That was pretty well documented. And so guys get challenged. And they responded."
Patriots: Belichick, on Garoppolo having to adjust after the decision not to play Brady: "Sometimes things happen and they change. On offense quarterbacks refer to that as an audible."