What a strange game that was.
Midway through the third quarter, the Chicago Bears seemingly put the game away going up 28-7 over the Denver Broncos who hadn’t been able to stop Justin Fields or the Bears offense all game. Russell Wilson and the offense woke up and so did the Broncos defense. Two touchdown passes from Wilson and a defensive touchdown by Jonathan Cooper tied the game up in the final quarter.
The Bears looked on the verge of icing the game going for it on fourth and one inside field goal range, but Alex Singleton stuffed the inside run to give Denver the ball with less than three minutes to go. Wilson immediately went deep to Marvin Mims Jr. to get Denver into field goal range.
A 21-point comeback win could be a huge boost for a team trying to figure out how to win games.
Broncos vs. Jets final score
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Nik Bonitto came up with a huge sack on Justin Fields on the Bears first drive. They almost converted on third and very long, but came up a yard short near midfield. Instead of going for it, they decided to punt in the face of a chorus of boos from the hometown crowd.
Then Russell Wilson and the Broncos took their first possession on an 11-play, 84 yard drive that was capped on a third and seven screen pass to Jaleel McLaughlin who patiently followed his blocks until he cut and burst through the hole for an 18-yard touchdown reception to put the Broncos up 7-0 early.
Jaleel McLaughlin scores his second touchdown of the year, this time off a screen pass from QB Russell Wilson pic.twitter.com/A7hVnefSyp— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 1, 2023
On the Bears second drive, they were again faced with a fourth and one from midfield and elected to go for it this time. Tight end Cole Kmet took the snap and was nearly stuffed on the fourth down plunge, but a push from behind got him a good spot and a first down. The first quarter would end with the Bears driving.
Broncos 7, Bears 0.
On the first play in the second quarter, Fields went deep to DJ Moore for what was called a touchdown. The reply clearly showed a shadow under his right foot indicating he didn’t get both feet in, but the refs decided to let the play stand to tie the game up.
Marvin Mims Jr. muffed the kickoff losing the ball in the sun. The ball hit him in the helmet and he was able to recover, but the damage was done with the Broncos starting their next drive at their own four yard line. Two stuffed runs and a holding penalty put the Broncos in a third and long that would ultimately lead to a punt.
After a 38-yard punt, the Bears began their next drive on the edge of field goal range. Fields hit Moore on a big play to get near the red zone then hit tight end Cole Kmet wide open down the seem for a 22-yard touchdown pass to put the Bears up 14-7. Fields began the game 9/9 for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
The Broncos lost running back Javonte Williams on the previous drive to a hip injury. Their third drive was completely derailed by a sack and penalties.
Fields continued to remain perfect in the first half and capped another long Bears drive with a jump pass to Cole Kmet to put Chicago up by two scores late in the second quarter.
In the last 120 minutes of game play, the Broncos defense has given up SEVENTEEN TOUCHDOWNS.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 1, 2023
That’s 8.5 TDs per 60 minutes.
An average of 61.5 points per 60 minutes for the equivalent of two games.
And the Broncos still haven’t forced a first-half incompletion since Week 2.
Denver’s next drive ended after another string of embarrassing happenings. A wasted timeout, another penalty, and a punt. They seemed to be mailing it in and it wasn’t even halftime yet.
Fields found Moore for a nice 24-yard completion, then went to Kmet for another first down out near midfield at the two minute warning. They would look to score again before halftime. Fortunately, a sack by Jonathan Cooper derailed things for the Bears and put them in a third and 14. Fields would throw his first incompletion of the game on a failed hail mary to end the first half.
Bears 21, Broncos 7.
After a quick three-and-out for the Broncos to start the second half, the Bears got a good driving going against the worst defense in NFL history. However, a timely sack by Nik Bonitto put the Bears in a 2nd and 18 situation. A completion to tight end Cole Kmet got half those yards back and then Fields would fire in a completion over the middle for a first down to Moore.
They would end up driving methodically down the field on a 15-play, 66-yard drive to essentially ice the game on a Field 2-yard touchdown pass to put Chicago up 28-7 late in the third quarter.
JUSTIN FIELDS IS 23/24 WITH FOUR TDS— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 1, 2023
Jaleel McLaughlin took over on the next drive with Javonte Williams out of the game. He broke off a 31-yard run and also had a big gain into the red zone to get the Broncos down to the Bears 8-yard line. After converting for a first and goal at the 5, Wilson found Brandon Johnson wide open in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to cut the Bears lead to 14.
Bears 28, Broncos 14.
The Broncos defense forced their first incompletion on a non-Hail Mary early in the fourth quarter and it happened on a third down. That would lead to just the second punt in the game for the Chicago Bears. Marvin Mims Jr. returned that punt for 26-yards to give Denver good field position down by two touchdowns.
Denver was able to convert on third down on that drive on a 26-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy to get inside the Bears 25-yard line. Another third and long from there ended up on a good catch and run from Lil’Jordan Humphrey who was able to gain 11 yards on third and 11 for a first down at the 14-yard line.
They would quickly find themselves in another third and nine, but Wilson was able to fire in a bullet to Courtland Sutton on a slant to cut the Bears lead to just a touchdown with plenty of time left in the game.
The Bears responded by getting together a drive of their own and quickly moved the ball past midfield into Broncos territory with just seven minutes left in the game. Nik Bonitto came off the edge and strip-sacked Fields, then Jonathan Cooper scooped and scored to tie the game up.
Denver, down 28-7 in the third quarter, went on a run of three unanswered touchdowns to tie the game up.
The Bears offense looked tepid on their next drive and after a few penalties it looked like they were on the verge of collapse, but on third and 10 Fields had all day to throw and then broke loose for a huge gain for 20-yards to the Bears 45-yard line. Kahlil Herbert bulled over would-be tacklers on back to back big gains to get the Bears down near the red zone and well within field goal range.
A holding penalty pushed the Bears out towards the fringes of field goal range. The Bears ended up getting all those yards back, but were stopped just short of the first down marker to bring up a fourth and one. They would go for it, but Alex Singleton would stuff the line to get Denver the ball.
On their first play on the next drive, Wilson went deep to Marvin Mims Jr. for a 49-yard gain to get Denver into field goal range immediately.
The Broncos would go nowhere from there and bring Wil Lutz out for a 51-yard field goal attempt. He would boot it through to give the Broncos a 31-28 lead with 1:46 left in the game. After the Bears scored 28 unanswered points, the Broncos followed it up with 24 unanswered.
Denver would close the game out with a strong defensive effort to keep the Bears from getting into field goal range. Kareem Jackson would end it on a game-winning interception.
Broncos 31, Bears 28.
1-3 with the New York Jets coming to town next week!
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