In a showdown in the Mile High City, the Bears and Broncos partook in a game that went at 1 mph until the final few minutes.
Nobody expected a stellar offensive performance from either team, but just one touchdown was scored between the two teams the whole game. In the end, though, the Bears were able to pull off a miracle and win 16-14 off of a 53-yard field goal from Eddy Pineiro.
Khalil Mack got his first sack of the season, David Montgomery played a bigger role than he did in Week 1, and the Bears actually scored a touchdown. It wasn’t a pretty game for Chicago, but it could have been worse. Here are some of the takeaways from Sunday’s action.
When explaining the Bears’ offensive performance from this week, one can summarize it in one sentence:
Well, at least it was better than last week.
Mitchell Trubisky faced a much smaller workload in Week 2 compared to the season opener, throwing only 27 passes as opposed to last week’s 45. While one could argue he wasn’t as bad as he was last week, his performance was still far from good.
Trubisky still has an issue with forcing throws and making poor decisions. He continues to make rookie mistakes as a third-year quarterback in the second season in his current scheme. He flashed the ability to go through his progressions and look past his first read a few times early in the game, but he struggled overall with trying to make plays happen in poor situations. Save for his clutch throw to Allen Robinson in the last seconds of the game, Trubisky’s outing was rather pedestrian.
The Broncos have one of the most talented defenses in the league, and Trubisky predictably struggled, albeit on a limited sample size. Barring a major turnaround in the next few seasons, the Bears may not see much more growth out of their quarterback if his start to the season is any indication.
While Trubisky underwhelmed, Chicago did see an impressive game out of rookie David Montgomery. The third-round pick ran for 62 yards on 18 carries and picked up his first touchdown of his career. He showed off the impressive contact balance and motor that he made famous in college, falling forward for extra yards and running through defenders. Even with an underwhelming run-blocking outing from his offensive line, Montgomery put together a solid game. The Bears ran the ball with him just six times in Week 1, and they clearly got the memo that they need to utilize him in their ground game more.
With a rather underwhelming passing attack, the Bears’ receivers failed to put together an impressive outing as a unit. Adam Shaheen caught three passes for 24 yards and played better than he has in most games of his carer thus far, and Allen Robinson also caught four passes, including the catch that put the Bears in scoring position late in the fourth quarter. Still, with a conservative passing gameplan that saw Trubisky stretch the field very little, nobody had much of a notable performance.
In typical Chicago fashion, a talented defense carried the load for an underwhelming offense.
Denver planned to wear out the Bears’ defense with numerous short passes and run plays, and they were able to break free with a few impressive runs and put together a handful of passes that went for 10 or more yards. However, Chicago, for the most part, limited the Broncos from picking up yards after the catch.
Roquan Smith played incredibly well, finishing with 13 tackles and showing off impressive sideline-to-sideline speed. He led the charge for the Bears defensively, showing up all over the field and preventing Denver from making too many big plays. Danny Trevathan complemented his teammate with a good performance of his own, tallying 12 tackles.
The Broncos struggled with holding penalties throughout the game, with Garrett Bolles and Ronald Leary combining for six flags. Their gameplan did a solid job of preventing the Bears’ tenacious pass rush, but Khalil Mack was still able to make his mark with his first sack of the season. Nick Williams also bounced off of an offensive lineman to pick up a sack in space.
Eddie Jackson finished with 10 tackles on the day, and though a high number of tackles isn’t always a great indicator for a positive safety performance, he showcased physicality as a tackler that looked much improved from his first two professional seasons. He lowered the boom on several ball carriers and showed improved willingness in run support.
Save for his lone interception, Kyle Fuller did not live up to his All-Pro status from last season. He gave up far too much cushion in coverage and created easy situations for the receivers he guarded, and he also gave up a jump ball touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders that gave up their lead late. The coverage in general was rough, but Fuller’s performance was unimpressive.
Chicago’s defense fell apart late in the game, but their outing as a whole was pretty impressive. That kept them in the game and helped them pick up the win.
Three and out
3. With their win on Sunday, the Bears broke the Broncos’ undefeated streak at home in September over the past seven seasons. Chicago faced a difficult task heading into the game, and though their performance could have been better, they were able to come away with the victory.
2. What a great feeling for Eddy Pineiro.
After years of underwhelming seasons out of the kickers, the Bears found a kicker who was able to pick up a game-winning field goal from outside of 50 yards. Sure, the thin air in Denver ultimately helped the trajectory of the ball, but Pineiro’s accuracy on the kick was great, and he came away with more than enough distance on the kick. It wouldn’t be smart to consider the Robbie Gould hex reversed entirely, but Pineiro is off to a great start as Chicago’s kicker so far.
1. The Bears desperately needed that win.
With the schedule they face for the rest of the year, putting forth a record that will top their 12-4 performance from last season will be difficult. It would be even more difficult to top that, let alone make the playoffs, with an 0-2 start. Now, with the easier part of their schedule coming up, they are in good shape to build some early-season momentum.