The Denver Broncos got their first win of the season Sunday afternoon in Chicago, and the team’s performance had fans feeling just about every emotion.
There were moments where the team seemed destined to deliver a sequel to the previous week’s 70-20 disaster, moments where the team looked damn good, and then moments everywhere in between.
So without further ado, let’s get going with the GIFCap, week four edition.
The Bears are not good. The Broncos aren’t either, but can we at least expect a much more competitive game than took place a week earlier? Is that too much to ask???
Broncos score first following defensive stop
Okay...okay...you have my attention. After stopping the Bears’ opening drive, which included a sack by Nik Bonitto, Russell Wilson led the offense 84 yards in 11 plays, finding Jaleel McLaughlin inside the 20 for the game’s opening score. Broncos 7, Bears 0. Again, the Bears are 0-3 for a reason, but perhaps this Broncos offense comes out of its shell finally?
Bears answer with minimal resistance
Well, the defense on the first series was not exactly as effective as a unit on their next series. Justin Fields took advantage of a secondary giving too much cushion and found DJ Moore 29 yards out for a touchdown to tie the game. The defense looked good the first series, but I guess it was a bit more fluky.
Second quarter meltdown
So much for this team finding it’s rhythm. The Broncos, just as they looked in the week prior, looked completely lost on defense, couldn’t move on offense, and once again made an opposing QB look like a Hall-of-Famer. The Broncos had the ball three times in the second quarter and managed just 11 plays, 41 yards, and three punts. The Bears ran just 15 plays in three series, but managed 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Justin Fields also only had one incompletion, on a last-play hail mary. To put it bluntly, it was a disgrace.
Ho hum, a Broncos three-and-out and another Bears TD...
Coming out after halftime with the ball first, down two TDs, would say a lot about this team’s fight. When the offense immediately went three-and-out aided by another of several false starts the offensive line committed, the answer seemed apparent. The Bears would get a little more resistance the following series, but were able to put up another TD to make it a 28-7 game. It’s beginning to look a lot like last week, so get ready for the memes...
A Broncos touchdown that feels empty
Even with a full quarter left to go, seeing the Broncos finally find the end zone again on the back of a gritty Russell Wilson drive felt like garbage time points. The way the defense was playing, there was no way the Bears weren’t going to just come back out and answer.
Now it feels...less empty
In a wild turn of events, the Broncos defense actually...played defense. The unit forced the Bears into a three-and-out, and once again, Wilson led the offense down the field for another score. The Broncos are only a TD behind with less than 10 minutes to play. Is it too little too late?
Do you believe in miracles?!
Are the Broncos...or maybe the Bears...or both...just trolling us? First the Broncos get a three-and-out stop, and now the defense forces a turnover on a sack, where OLB Jonathan Cooper would recover and take it to the house. We’ve gone from 28-7 to 28-28.
And the Bears are once again marching...
The Broncos D came up huge the prior two series, but it would really need to come up huge here...so of course the Bears move just shy of 60 yards hovering around the Broncos 20-yard line, well within field goal range. With 4th-and-1 at the 18-yard line, the Bears would opt to go for it, and for an offense that had done what it wanted most of the game, what was one yard vs. this defense?
Turnover on downs!
Some how, some way, the Broncos defense silenced the doubters and made the stop to give the Broncos offense back the football. Holy expletive. Is win number one on the way?
Too close for comfort
The Broncos took over and following yet another highlight reel throw-and-catch from Russell Wilson to Marvin Mims that traveled 48 yards, the Broncos elected to go conservative and milk the clock with two straight runs followed by an incomplete pass to take the clock under two minutes. A Will Lutz field goal would give the team a 31-28 lead, but a touchdown would have been much nicer. Should the team have kept its foot on the gas? Would the defense be able to hold?
The Bears were able to creep up to the 50 yard line, but following an intentional grounding call on Justin Fields, the home team was pushed back, and two plays later, the QB would make an errant throw into the hands of Broncos safety Kareem Jackson. Victory formation, game over, Broncos get the win in dramatic fashion!
What to make of this?
On hand, it’s great to get a win and wash the taste of all the 70-20 nonsense out of our mouths. It’s also great to see the team fight through adversity. Yet, what kind of team actually is this?
The Bears, after all are not a good team, and will receive proper criticism for losing this one. Yet, any team coming back from down 21 in the second half to win on the road is worth considering.
Is this the team with the swiss cheese defense who was embarrassed last week and looked to be on the same path for much of the game? Or is it a team who is finding their identity, and it started with the second half of that game sending a message that a new team will be seen moving forward.
The team is just a few points away from being 3-1 and has shown flashes of at the very least fielding an offense that can keep them in games. Yet, the defense, despite its effort during the second half this weekend, remains enormously flawed and a liability.
Keeping the same energy against a Jets team at home won’t do much, but if there is visible improvement and the team can put together a full game, perhaps this season isn’t lost after all. Then again, expecting anything, good or bad, vs. this team will not be advised until further notice, so just enjoy the win for now.