First quarter: Patriots 7, Bears 0

The Patriots' Wes Welker is tackled by the Bears' Zack Bowman (35) and Charles Tillman (33) on Sunday at Soldier Field. Jerry Lai/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- There are 26 mph winds, gusting to 50 with swirling snow at Soldier Field.

So what, the New England Patriots seemed to say in seizing a 7-0 lead over the Chicago Bears, thanks to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski at the 5:47 mark.

The teams traded three-and-out possessions to start the game. But the Patriots marched 85 yards in 12 plays to take the lead. The Bears had a shot at breaking up the drive when the Patriots faced second-and-goal from the 8.

Brian Urlacher tipped a Brady pass, and safety Chris Harris was unable to come up with the interception that would have snuffed out the drive. Brady, who leads the NFL in touchdown passes of 10 yards or fewer, hit Gronkowski for the touchdown on the very next play. Brady racked up 71 yards passing in the first quarter.

Chicago, meanwhile, mounted a nine-play drive on its ensuing possession which ended in a punt.