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Broncos vs. Bears: Denver’s first team looks sharp despite the loss

Both sides of the ball looked much better tonight as Denver handily whipped up on the Bears first and second teams.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After practicing together during the week, the Broncos and the Bears now got to finally square off in official game action. Tonight saw the first team offense and defense get more minutes than we saw last week, as both sides of the ball looked to get back on track after a slow start last week.

1st Quarter

Chicago started with the ball so we got a chance to see the first team (sort of) defense start the game. They looked pretty good except for a personal foul on Yiadom. He looked alright so far in coverage, and coming up to make the tackle as he got more opportunities to play 2nd corner with Harris sitting out.

The Bears looked to break a big run off the left tackle, but it was rightly called back, as Bradley Chubb was being held.

A good creative blitz by Joe Woods on 3rd down forced an incomplete pass on a 3rd and long led to Chicago missing a long field goal.

Denver’s offense took over in good field position, but quickly went three and out again. Denver tried a fleaflicker and had DaeSean Hamilton wide open, but Keenum was hit as he threw it, forcing the ball a little out of reach.

Fair catch at the 5 yard line after an excellent punt by Marquette King backed the Bears up in the shadow of their goal posts.

The Bears tried to gain a little bit of breathing room, but Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis were having none of it as the former burst through the line for a great tackle for loss on 1st down. Second down, Davis stuffs the runner for little gain. Broncos run defense looks back to normal.

Observation: Looks like Denver is going pretty basic in preseason on 3rd and longs. Not a lot of Nascar packages or anything crazy, as to not show their hand.

Mitch Trubisky missed the snap in the end zone, reminiscent of Super Bowl 48, which led to Bradley Chubb scoring the first points of the game on a safety.

Broncos 2, Bears 0.

The drive started with a good return from McKenzie, he’s looking much improved.

Early on in the drive, Case Keenum had plenty of time and hit DaeSean Hamilton over the middle for a big gain and Denver’s first team’s first 1st down of the preseason (a lot of firsts!)

Denver continued to move down the field through the air, gaining another first down on a nicely designed screen pass to Jeff Heuerman. Later, a good blitz pickup by Royce Freeman and offensive line held up as Keenum hit Emmanuel Sanders on a nice out route which allowed Andy Janovich to convert another first down on a short pass.

A personal foul called on the Bears put Denver in the red zone. Offensive pass interference backed Denver up to a long first and goal from the 18. Offensive line held up well so in pass protection, but Keenum over-shot two potential touchdown passes as he looked a little out of sync early on, forcing Denver to settle for a field goal.

Broncos 5, Bears 0.

Good call by the officials catching the Bears on offensive pass interference on a 3rd down conversion to set the Bears up in a 3rd and long.

Isaac Yiadom was then called on an extremely ticky tack defensive pass interference which extended the Bears drive. Excellent coverage by Denver’s corners wasn’t enough as Anthony Miller pulled down a great catch to move the Bears into scoring position.

Will Parks, who had been playing well so far in camp and the preseason went down with a knee injury. Denver is very thin in the secondary now.

The Bears end the first quarter knocking on the door to the end zone with a first and goal coming up.

2nd Quarter

The Bears score a quick touchdown to the tight end as no one covered him in the flat off of a play action. Von Miller and Darian Stewart were in the vicinity, but not sure who was responsible in coverage.

Bears 7, Broncos 5.

Denver came charging back out on offense with a good conversion from Emmanuel Sanders on a Keenum pass.

Two plays later, Keenum was sacked after holding the ball a tick too long as the defensive lineman pushed through Ronald Leary for the hit.

The Broncos kept things moving down the field on the back on the Keenum/Sanders connection as they continue their chemistry from camp. However, Keenum continued to miss passes high early in the game.

Courtland Sutton almost went up a got a big deep ball, but was interfered with, setting up Denver on the goal line which allowed Royce Freeman to maneuver through the line for a touchdown. Good running by Freeman showing a good cut and good vision. Denver went for two, and Keenum hit Jeff Heuerman on a slant to the right after looking left.

Broncos 13, Bears 7.

The first team defense continued to stay on the field, except for Von Miller.

Todd Davis made an incredible stop on a 3rd and long screen pass, chasing the running back down and pulling him back just short of the first down marker. Vance Joseph with a nice challenge of the play after it was originally called a first down.

It was all for naught as Chicago converted on a 4th and 1 sneak.

However, Justin Simmons made an amazing play jumping a route over the middle while covering a (wait for it) running back! The Broncos first team defense looked pretty good in their second preseason game after coming out flat the first week.

Chad Kelly stepped on the field for the first time as Keenum took a seat. He leaned heavily on the running game, as Booker and Freeman converted two first downs on the drive.

Kelly put the cherry on top, however, as he rifled a pass up the seam to Courtlan Sutton for a touchdown pass.

Broncos 20, Bears 7.

The Bears came back down the field on the next drive as Denver began to mix in their second team defense and Marcus Rios was beat on a long pass that set the Bears up in the red zone.

DeMarcus Walker made a great sack up the middle, splitting two offensive linemen, forcing the Bears into a 3rd and long, which Denver was all over. This forced the Bears to settle for a long field goal.

Broncos 20, Bears 10.

The Broncos offense looked much better in the first half, and the first team defense was improved as well. Both sides of the ball came out with better energy and execution than last week giving the fans a much better product, but also much more hope for the 2018 season.

3rd Quarter

Philips Lindsay came out of halftime with a big run, set up by a really nice spin move.

Receiver Tim Patrick kept the drive going with a great grab where he had to catch the ball over the defender.

Penalties stalled the drive in the red zone, but Denver was able to convert a field goal attempt to at least get on the score board. All-in-all a good drive that ate a lot of clock and furthered Denver’s lead.

Broncos 23, Bears 10.

Denver’s new linebacker, Alexander Johnson made a splash on special teams, rocking the kickoff returner.

The Broncos defense forced a quick 3 and out, but a roughing the passer penalty by Garcia-Williams kept the Bears moving, but the defense forced a punt a few plays later.

Chad Kelly and a personal foul penalty moved Denver down the field, but they were forced to punt went Kelly swung for the fences on a deep ball and just barely missed wide receiver, Tim Patrick on the right sideline. He needs to put a little bit more air under that throw next time.

Broncos defense force another punt as the Bears struggle get anything going offensively.

Chad Kelly is finished for the night and Paxton Lynch steps on the field at the 1:48 mark in the 3rd.

Lynch missed his first throw low, but came back on 3rd down with a nice run escaping the pocket and finding daylight for a 1st down to end the quarter.

4th Quarter

The offense stalled as Lynch continued to look uncomfortable in the pocket after his first read was not there. A dropped pass didn’t help either. Fortunately, Marquette King was money tonight with two punts dropping inside the opponents 5 yard line. Philip Lindsay, who is making a strong case to be on this team, made a nice tackle on special teams to set the Bears up, again, inside their own five.

Denver’s defense looked stout again, as McDonald garnered a sack on 3rd down on a stunt.

After another punt from Denver, the Bears sustained a long drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Chase Daniel, putting the Bears within striking distance to comeback.

Broncos 23, Bears 17.

The 4th quarter was all Bears as Denver’s offense, led by Paxton Lynch was unable to do anything most of the quarter, and Chicago backup Chase Daniel picked on the 3rd team defense for two scores.

The offense had a chance at a potential game winning drive with under two minutes left. Lynch completed a few nice passes to Isaiah McKenzie, and was helped by a Bears penalty, but a fumble by McKenzie killed the comeback attempt.

Despite the 4th quarter collapse by the 3rd teamers, the Broncos 1s and 2s looked much better than they did last week. A lot of rookies and young guys made plays with Chubb, Sutton, and Freeman all scoring points, and Chad Kelly looking solid again.

Plenty to be excited about and look forward to for Broncos fans this season.

Final: Bears 24, Broncos 23.