By: Jay Patel
Spread: Chicago Bears (-2)
Kickoff: 4:25 ET, Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Two teams coming off disappointing Week 1 losses clash in Colorado. The Chicago Bears look to pick it up after a tough loss at home against their rivals, the Green Bay Packers. On the other hand, the Denver Broncos come back home after getting outplayed by the Oakland Raiders. Both teams will have the hunger to win their first game on the young season. Only one will prevail.
The Bears are heavy playoff contenders entering the season. They have a top ranked defense. Their offense has the potential to break out this season. In a Week 1 tilt against the Packers, QB Mitchell Trubisky, and the offense struggled to put drives together. They scored only three points the whole game. The Bears D kept them in the game, but the Bears offense couldn’t get into a rhythm. WR Allen Robinson was the only upside of the game as he eclipsed 100 yards receiving, and made some really tough catches. The run game was practically non-existent. Rookie RB David Montgomery made the most of his touches, however, he needs to be more included in the offense. This will help the offense explode. Moreover, Tarik Cohen also needs to get more touches. If Cohen is in the open field, it’s going to be tough for opposing defenders to catch up with the human joystick. After a solid week off, hopefully the Bears offense has figured it out, and can make the leap.
The Bears defense picked up right where they left off. They opened the season with a beating on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Five sacks, hurries, and tight coverage were all aspects the Bears D excelled in. OLB Leonard Floyd, in his fifth season, had two of the sacks. The Bears have been patient with Floyd over the course of his career, and this could be the year he takes off. Many other players on the defense had good games as well. Khalil Mack had several tackles, Roy Robertson-Harris had a sack, and Kyle Fuller had great coverage against Davante Adams. If the Bears D can continue to play at their level, they’ll be able to compete in every game.
Former Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio’s coaching debut was a letdown. The Broncos lost to the Raiders in Oakland. They were down early, however, fought back. QB Joe Flacco’s team debut wasn’t bad. He was 21/31 for 268 YDS and a TD. He did not throw any interceptions, but did have a fumble. He made several great throws to second-year wideout Courtland Sutton (7 REC, 120 YDS), and veteran Emmanuel Sanders (5 REC, 86 YDS, TD) also was heavily involved in the offense. The Broncos running game was effective too. They rushed for over 100 YDS. Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay make a nice duo in the backfield. The Broncos offense was steady in the season opener, and they will need similar results against a tough defense.
The Broncos defense could improve. They didn’t force any turnovers. Additionally, they allowed a total of 357 YDS. That’s a lot of yards given to team that just lost star WR Antonio Brown. Oakland had Denver beat in time of possession. The Broncos defense got worn down, and possibly didn’t have enough left in the tank. This defense has plenty of talent to turn things around. They got stud pass rusher Von Miller, and on the opposite side, they have a budding star in Bradley Chubb. Their secondary has veteran Chris Harris Jr. and ex-Bear Bryce Callahan. The Broncos D has the talent to make some noise.
Analysis and Prediction
Both teams are trying to turn the tables after losing close games in Week 1. QB Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears aim to create a more balanced offensive attack. While QB Joe Flacco and the Broncos look to build off of a decent showing last week. It will come down to protecting the ball, and which team can convert 3rd down opportunities. At the end of the day, the Bears have too much talent to lose this game. Bears 24, Broncos 13.