Can the Broncos’ run defense slow down the Bears?

The Bears will look to pound the rock Sunday. Can the Broncos meet their physicality?
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

One of the big downsides of a late Monday night game is the quick turnaround. There’s simply no time for the Broncos to lick their wounds and recover from the 24-16 loss to Oakland with Chicago coming to town.

For us fans, that’s probably a good thing as we don’t have to dwell too long with another game quickly approaching. To get some insight into the Bears, I spoke with Aaron Leming, who writes for Windy City Gridiron.

1st and 10

I know week 1 tends to lead to some overreactions, so I have to ask: What are your thoughts on Mitch Trubisky’s performance and how does he rebound over the rest of the 2019 season?

Leming: Week 1 is always a mixed bag, as we’ve seen with some of the results of this weekend so far.

With that in mind, concerns with Trubisky can’t be limited to his performance on Thursday night. A lot of what he displayed (dropping eyes with pressure, poor footwork and locking onto a single read or side of the field) have been issues ranging back to his rookie year. I went on record multiple times this offseason and really the only thing I called for this season from the third year-quarterback was more consistency.

The Bears talked about consistent and incremental progress but what we saw in Week 1 was a sizable step back from that. That’s really the concern right now. Now, obviously that doesn’t mean he’s exactly the quarterback we saw in Week 1 but the lack of consistency and overall progression in those key areas I highlighted above is what makes this a sizable concern.

I’m not one to rush to judgment, especially when determining who a player is or will be. With that in mind, if he’s still struggling with these same things mid-season, I think we’ll have our answer about who he is as a quarterback.

Trubisky still has a ways to go when it comes to reading the field.

2nd and 7

What other position groups have you most concerned heading into a game against Vic Fangio?

Leming: The offense as a whole is a big concern for me moving into Sunday’s game against the Broncos. Again, I’m not going to overreact to a single game but if the Bears offense struggled against a Mike Pettine-led defense, how can I expect that to get any better against a defensive minded head coach who knows this team’s offense like the back of his hand?

The main positional group I’m worried about is the offensive line. They struggled mightily against Green Bay. Now, they are going against a unit that knows what they’ll be doing and has Von Miller and Bradley Chubb? Good luck, Trubisky.

I think the big key for the Bears being able to counteract that will be establishing a consistent and productive run game. In Thursday night’s game, they had 12 true run calls and attempted to throw the ball 53 times. Needless to say, a balanced attack is a big question for me and probably the key to the Bears offense getting anything going against a top-end defense like the Broncos.

Look for the Bears to give David Montgomery more work Sunday.

3rd and 3

Broncos Country spent a large part of the summer studying up on Vic Fangio’s defense to see how things would change for Denver’s defense this season. I’ve been wondering how big the adjustment from him to Pagano has been for the Bears?

Leming: That’s actually been one of the most talked about topics within Bears circles, here.

What we’ve seen so far is about what I’ve expected from Chuck Pagano. Fangio was very consistent. He didn’t blitz a ton and you usually knew who would be rushing the passer and what the coverage was going to be for the most part. Under Pagano, they blitzed a lot more in Week 1 on top of simply sending a multitude of different pass rushers to the quarterback.

The other big thing I noticed that has been different so far has been Pagano’s willingness to rotate players. In the early going, we saw a lot of rotations coming on the defensive line, edge rushers and he even mixed things up with the defensive backs. Luckily for the Bears, they have a good amount of depth on the defensive line and one of those depth pieces Roy Robertson-Harris had a monster game because of it.

All in all, I’ve been told that a lot of the overall terminology is similar, as well as the overall philosophy. I think we are going to see subtle differences like I listed above but when all is said and done, I’m just expecting more man coverage from the defensive backs and more exotic fronts to get to the quarterback.

Expect Pagano to send fire zones at the Broncos O.

4th and 8

What matchups look most favorable to the Bears heading into week 2?

Leming: On paper, I believe the Bears have a good advantage when talking about their defensive line against the Broncos’ offensive line. That’s not really a knock against the Broncos either. The Bears just have a lot of depth and top-end talent at the position and can usually take advantage of less mobile quarterbacks like Joe Flacco.

Offensively, the matchup I like for the Bears will be in the run game and the short/intermediate pass game. I expect to see a high level of commitment to the run game. I also expect to see tight end Trey Burton back. With the combination of those two things, I expect the Bears to attack short and quick, at least in attempt to get Trubisky into some sort of rhythm. The one thing I will say is that the offense is much different when Burton is on the field, even if he’s simply garnering attention.

All in all, I think that this is actually a pretty evenly matched game and despite me believing the Bears have the advantages in those areas, I wouldn’t call them massive.


Not only is there little time for the Broncos to turn around after a game late Monday

They have to play a Bears team that has been resting and preparing since last Friday.

Having the very first team to play take on the very last team to play in week 2 is incredibly stupid scheduling by the NFL.

Bears needed the practice

If I was HC, O line would still be running laps

I agree with the scheduling being lame

The extra rest would seem to be an advantage.
However I’m not so sure about any advantage in preparation. Bears staff had no actual game film until Tuesday.
What exactly were the Bears going to prepare for??

Off of Monday's film, what do they have to bother to prepare for?

If Denver could have stopped the run against Oakland, I believe the Broncos could have won.

And, that was on the road.

I still like our chances at home with Todd Davis hopefully playing.

Also, I really believe the #5 pick in the draft should be disruptive from sideline to sideline. Chubb is a linebacker. Time to act like one. He needs to shed blocks and find the football.

Rather or not he drops into coverage sometimes, he still has to work in run support. His performance against Chicago was somewhere between trash and poop. A linebacker at #5 should be a force.

Or if the broncos offense would have not misfired in the Red Zone all night.

That was a winnable game the Broncos dropped.

Yeah, you’re right. Football often is "Run the football" and "Don’t let the other team run the football".

The Red Zone is where talent (or lack of talent) shows the most

You lack the space to easily win with scheme. You just have to have guys beat the guy across from them.

The Broncos don’t have a lot of those guys.

Sutton is one and they should hyper target him in the RZ with 50/50 balls.

Fant is another RZ option.

Send him in motion, split him out wide, whatever it takes to get the right matchup. Let’s see if he’s really 1st round talent or not.

I know he’s a rookie, but I’d like to see two things from the kid this year. Steady blocking and RZ catches.

I agree that the offense can play better. That's definitely true.

But, I think Denver’s best chance to win games this season probably hinges on the defense.

The offense doesn’t have all the tools to be consistently successful.

So, I’m looking at our superstar top five draft pick linebacker to make a big impact doing linebacker stuff: shedding blocks and tackling the ball carrier.

He can’t go back in time and change the Raiders game, but he can show his "second year jump" this week against Chicago.

Something to watch: I stumbled on the "Trubisky Can’t Throw To His Left" meme last week.

It seems like he might have a technical issue there, hard to say how important, and it seems like something he might have addressed in practice and off season work.

He seemed to favor the center/right against the Packers.

It really isn't a thing.

The people reporting on it just cherry picked some plays and there were no stats to back it up. If you look at deep ball project, he is top 10 throwing deep balls to his left. Unfortunately, ESPN got rid the splits that listed throws to different parts of the field which Trubisky had a good passer rating and completion percentage. The original person that started the threads about Trubisky not able to throw to his left said he was wrong.

Yeah I saw that and wonder if we should leave Harris out on that side with no help and see how many picks he can get.

But then on JDelly’s point, I tried to find the video that went around twitter last week but only managed to find plenty of tweets of him throwing left well.

I just hope that

Yiadom is riding the bench… If he is not he needs 1 quarter of getting burned then he needs to ride that bench for another year.

How is he going to get better

if he’s sitting on the bench…?

Yeah your right!

Let’s just keep sending him out there like we did Brandon Roby, that worked out OH SO WELL!

A stiff breeze slowed down the Bears last week. That and Nagy abandoning the run for the final 22 minutes of the game.

Broncos might not have to do much.

3 runs 2nd half a little more than 22 minutes

Trubs was bad but with out the drops last week, Bears win

If we use caltrops (look it up).

If this game hinges on Burton playing well

Then I dont see the Bears winning this one.

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