This will be the third time in the last six seasons that the Denver Broncos will open their preseason on the road against the Chicago Bears. In their previous two matchups, the Broncos won both games outscoring the Bears 53-3 in those two contests.
Don’t read too much into those final scores, however, as people were in a panic in 2013 when the Broncos edged out the San Francisco 49ers 10-6 in their opening preseason game and promptly went on to break the NFL record for most points scored in a season, while last year they dominated the Bears 22-0 only to languish in the regular season and missing the playoffs for the first time since Kyle Orton led them to a 4-12 season in 2010.
Kickoff is set for Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mile High time at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
TV schedule and TV channels
The game will air on KTVD (Channel 20) locally in Denver, Colorado with Ron Zappolo (play-by-play), Brian Griese (color analyst), and Rod Mackey (sideline reporting). It will also air live on NFL Network for out-of-market fans.
NFL Game Pass offers live audio and re-airs after the game.
DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket has expanded its online streaming service. Verizon subscribers can watch games live with the NFL Mobile app (subscription required, and usual TV blackout rules apply even online).
Colorado can listen on KOA (850 AM/94.1 FM) or The Fox (103.5 FM) with Dave Logan (play-by-play), Rick Lewis (color analyst) and Tyler Polumbus (sideline reporting).
Spanish radio KNVR (1150 AM) will also broadcast the game with Javier Olivias (play-by-play) and Carlos Valdez (color analyst).
If you are the kind of person who bets on preseason action, please get some help. If you ignore that kind of advice, the line for this game has the Broncos as slight one-point favorites over the Bears.
The Broncos will not play safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), inside linebacker Todd Davis (shoulder), and running back Jamaal Charles (knee) in this game. Other notable players who will be out in this game and likely the rest of the preseason are edge rushers Shane Ray (wrist) and Shaquil Barret (hip). The team will also hold out center Matt Paradis (hips) from preseason action this week.
Although most major media eyes will be on the quarterback play, most of us hardcore fans will be watching the offensive line with extreme interest. Will this revamped unit be much improved over last year?
“We’ve got Bolles on the left, as the left tackle,” Head coach Vance Joseph says of the starting offensive line in this game. “Max [Garcia] as the left guard. Matt Paradis won’t play this week, so McGovern will be the starting center. The right guard will be Leary. He’s back, he’s fine and he’s playing. The right tackle is Menelik Watson, so he’s back. Our o-line is intact for the most part.”
Although I’m starting to feel the dread that the Broncos may not have a worthy starting quarterback in 2017, I’m going to remain hopeful until live game action confirms or rejects this feeling of impending doom.
Both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch come out and lead the team to multiple scoring drives to set the Broncos up with a blowout road win to kickoff preseason action.
Prediction: Broncos 26, Bears 13