|**DATE:**||Sunday, December 10, 2000|
|**SITE:**||Soldier Field (66,944) - Grass|
|**TIME:**||1:00 p.m. EDT|
|**TELEVISION:**||This week's game will be broadcast nationally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). Kevin Harlan will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partner Daryl Johnston. They will be joined by Beasley Reece from the sidelines.|
|**RADIO:**||WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 24th season as voice of the Patriots, will call the action along with Gino Cappelletti. The tandem is enjoying their 17th season together.|
The New England Patriots (4-9) will have to weather the Windy City when they travel to Chicago to battle the Bears (3-10) this week. It will be just the ninth meeting between these two teams. The Patriots, who currently hold 5-3 series advantage, have won the last three meetings. The last time the Bears defeated the Patriots was in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans in 1985.
The last time these two teams met was in 1997, when the Patriots hosted the Bears and dealt them a 31-3 defeat. The last time the Patriots traveled to Chicago was the season finale in 1994. The game had playoff implications for the Patriots, who clinched a wild-card berth with a 13-3 win over the Bears. It was the first playoff appearance by the Patriots in eight seasons.
This week's game will be the Patriots' final non-conference game of the season. The Patriots are 0-3 against the NFC Central this year and need a win to avoid being swept by a division for the first time since the NFC West swept the Patriots in 1995.
After a disappointing loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, the Patriots rebounded with one of their most entertaining games of the year, scoring a 30-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on ABC's Monday Night Football. It was just the eighth Patriots victory on MNF in 26 games.
Quarterback Drew Bledsoe and wide receiver Troy Brown both missed practice time during the week due to injuries, yet both started against the Chiefs and propelled the Patriots offense to 30 points, their highest point production in the last 23 games. Bledsoe completed 33-of-48 passes for 282 yards and a completion percentage of 68.8 percent. All four totals represented season highs. Bledsoe's favorite target was Troy Brown, who fielded a career-high 12 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. His 12 receptions tied Ben Coates for the second-best single-game performance in franchise history and earned him Miller Lite Player of the Game honors. Only Terry Glenn (13) has more receptions in a game.