New England Patriots

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12, 2010: The New England Patriots line up against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Patriots beat the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 12, 2010: The New England Patriots line up against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Patriots beat the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Here are five topics to think about as the New England Patriots get ready to take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

After two days of basking in a thrilling win for the New England Patriots, we’re on to Chicago. The Pats head to Soldier Field for their first road game since Week 3 at Detroit as they take on the Bears in what could be a sneaky-tough matchup.

As big as the Patriots’ win over the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football truly was, it certainly wasn’t a perfect win. There’s plenty that the Patriots should be looking to correct before they take the field in Chicago, and they’ll have to do it against another talented squad. The Bears have good players on both sides of the ball, the kind of system that’s given Bill Belichick fits at times, and they’re at home. But are their coach & quarterback ready for the test they’re about to face?

That’ll be the focus as we go over five big questions ahead of Patriots-Bears.

1. Is Mitchell Trubisky up to the task?

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins in the first quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 14: Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins in the first quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Two of the Patriots’ four wins have a common thread: the opposing quarterback didn’t play well enough. Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill played some of the worst football of their careers in their games against the Patriots. Even in the wins where the opposing quarterback played well, they weren’t perfect. Andrew Luck threw two interceptions in Week 5, while Patrick Mahomes had a shaky first half that also included a pair of picks.

If Trubisky can play closer to how Blake Bortles did for the Jaguars in Week 2, or Matthew Stafford for the Lions in Week 3, he could give the Pats defense real problems.

2. Can Matt Nagy hang with Bill Belichick for 60 minutes?

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23, 2018:  Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears looks on during the first half of NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 23, 2018: Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears looks on during the first half of NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The opposing quarterback is always a big question when they’re going against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The coach usually falls into that category as well. Andy Reid has more than proven himself as a formidable foe for Bill Belichick (with his offense, anyway).

Nagy is a Reid disciple, having served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2017 and quarterbacks coach from 2013-16. So there’s certainly a chance that Nagy’s offense can give Belichick problems. But like any coach going against Belichick, Nagy’s situational awareness and game-planning will certainly have to be impeccable. For 60 minutes, not 57. That’ll all be under a microscope on Sunday.

3. Can the Patriots fix their road woes?

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12: Jay Culter of the Chicago Bears drops back to pass as the Bears take on the New England Patriots at Soldier Field. The Patriots defeated the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 12: Jay Culter of the Chicago Bears drops back to pass as the Bears take on the New England Patriots at Soldier Field. The Patriots defeated the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Pats have ripped off three wins in a row and appear to have righted the ship in a lot of ways. But all four of their wins so far have been at Gillette Stadium. A little home cookin’ has done the Patriots a lot of good in recent weeks, but their two road games were both forgettable efforts. Their 4-0 record in Foxboro is a sharp contrast to 0-2 away from Gillette so far.

Belichick would likely say that the Patriots simply need to execute everything better in order to improve their performance on the road. Whatever the issue is, this year’s Patriots still have yet to prove they can go on the road against a talented opponent and get the job done. And Soldier Field, where the Patriots played a snow game last time they traveled there, isn’t usually the easiest place to do that.

4. Will the secondary be able to contain the Bears’ receivers?

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14, 2018: Taylor Gabriel of the Chicago Bears completes a reception against Torry McTyer of the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 14, 2018: Taylor Gabriel of the Chicago Bears completes a reception against Torry McTyer of the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Kansas City presented perhaps the biggest challenge the Patriots will face all season in terms of pure offensive weapons. Tyreek Hill is the fastest receiver in the league and Travis Kelce always commands plenty of attention. But the Bears have their own version of Hill and Kelce in speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton.

You may know those two from their Super Bowl performances against the Patriots. They may not be quite on the same level as the Chiefs’ skill players, but they have similar abilities that could be a problem if the Patriots can’t solve their coverage issues from Sunday night. And don’t forget about ex-Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson, who will likely see a lot of Stephon Gilmore on Sunday, as well as the running back tandem of Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard.

5. What can we expect from Khalil Mack?

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears in action on the field in the second half with a taped ankle against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 14: Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears in action on the field in the second half with a taped ankle against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Mack has gotten all kinds of attention since arriving to the Bears, and for good reason. In five games this season, he’s registered five sacks, forced four fumbles with one takeaway, and has even scored a pick-six. He is an absolute terror if you can’t handle him up front. He’s been OK against the Patriots, with one sack and four QB hits in two games – but those numbers are effectively the same as neutralizing him. The Raiders went 0-2 in those games.

Mack is on a better, deeper defense in Chicago than either of those Oakland teams now. But at the same time, he’s dealing with an ankle injury after rolling up on it last Sunday against the Dolphins. So it’s fair to wonder how Mack will look in his own right. But either way, the Patriots certainly won’t be taking him lightly.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.