It’s hard to figure out who had the rougher Sunday. Was it the Denver Broncos who were humiliated by the Miami Dolphins 70 to 20 or was it the Chicago Bears who were down 41 to 0 early in the third quarter before the Chiefs benched Patrick Mahomes and took the foot off the gas?
They were rough Sundays for both teams, but the good news is that for one of these teams, they are going to bounce back with a win this week as it’ll be a battle of 0-3 teams as the Broncos travel to Chicago to take on the Bears.
To help us preview the game, we sat down with Ian St. Clair of SB Nation’s Mile High Report to give us a little more information about the Bears’ opponent.
1. Despite the rough start, how are Broncos’ fans viewing Sean Payton so far?
Since all that matters is wins, they’re not viewing him that great at the moment. But what Denver fans are holding against Payton is the hiring of Vance Joseph. That’s the decision he made that makes zero sense. Yet despite all of this, Payton is the first competent head coach the Broncos have had since Gary Kubiak. This stat just illustrates how far this franchise has fallen and it’s going to take time to get back to where everyone expects. You have to crawl before you walk, Denver must learn how not to lose games before it can win games.
2. It seems Russell Wilson’s play has drastically improved under Payton, at least statistically, how has he actually looked the first three games?
There’s no question that Wilson has played better. His stats are comparable to Patrick Mahomes. You’re playing pretty well whenever you’re on the level with the reigning NFL MVP. The Broncos offense still has some issues it needs to fix, like drop-offs in the second half, costly turnovers and lack of consistency running the ball, but Wilson and the offense is not why this team is 0-3. That side of the ball is doing enough to win games. As the season progresses and Wilson gets more comfortable with Payton and the offense, he’ll get even better.
3. The Broncos are giving up an average of 52.5 points over their last two games (sorry, I just had to write that), what in the world is going wrong on defense?
I still can’t believe the Broncos defense gave up 70 points. That’s just absurd. But the stat that says everything you need to know about this defense right now is not points but missed tackles. The Denver defense missed 24 tackles against the Dolphins. You have to try to be that bad at the most basic element of defense. And I mentioned this earlier, but Joseph is a terrible coach and his system is just as atrocious. Why Payton and the Broncos landed on Joseph for defensive coordinator doesn’t make any sense. He’s the Nathaniel Hackett of defense. But the first three games have also shown the lack of talent and depth on defense at every position. Denver also can’t do anything right. It can’t stop the run. It can’t cover. It can’t tackle. It can’t get pressure on the quarterback. The Broncos literally can’t do anything on defense.
4. What do Broncos fans think of Vic Fangio? He’s beloved in Chicago and fans routinely give him almost full credit for the success of the 2018 Bears. Obviously, head coach is a different animal, but would love to know what Denver fans think of Chicago’s beloved Vic.
Based on what I just said, Broncos Country would love to have Fangio running the defense right now. He wasn’t a great head coach, but there’s no question he knows how to lead great defenses. What makes it even more frustrating is there were rumors that Payton was talking to Fangio in the offseason about coming back to Denver. If there was a previous head coach Broncos fans wanted to lead the defense, the guy they ended up with is not who anyone would have chosen … at least outside the building.
5. Do you have a favorite player prop bet on DraftKings that you like and any suggestions for an anytime touchdown scorer?
When it comes to props, I always look for value. So the one with the best value and a good shot of happening is Wilson over 1.5 touchdowns at +114. As for anytime touchdown scorer, I’d look for Marvin Mims from the Broncos. The rookie receiver has been phenomenal and he’ll get called on more and more as the season progresses.
It should make for an interesting Sunday for these two fan bases. One of them will start feeling better about their team while the other fan base is going to be looking at their 0-4 team and wonder just how bad this season is going to get.
And as always, if you want to place a little wager on the game, DraftKings Sportsbook has you covered.