The Chicago Bears look for a bounce-back performance after a disappointing Week 1 loss when they travel to face the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Chicago was considered one of the favorites to win the NFC this season but laid an egg on opening night of the NFL season, losing to the Packers at home, 10-3.
Now the Bears face an old friend in Denver coach Vic Fangio, who directed the Chicago defense for the past four seasons. Last season, the Bears became ferocious with the addition of Khalil Mack, leading the NFL in turnovers forced (36) and interceptions (27). Chicago will not be showing any mercy against the Broncos, who lost their opener, 24-16 to Oakland on Monday night.
The moneyline for this contest has the Chicago Bears -135 and the Denver Broncos +115. The Bears are favored by two points on the road, and the over/under for the game has been set at 40.5.
Needing Better Offense
If the Bears knew they’d be coming out of their season opener having held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense to just 10 points, they’d have expected a victory. Instead, they are 0-1 because the Chicago offense managed just 274 yards, including only 46 on the ground. After trading away Jordan Howard in the offseason, the hope was the Chicago ground attack could be just as good with Mike Davis and David Montgomery splitting carries, but those two had just 37 yards on 11 carries combined in the opener.
Mitchell Trubisky also needs to be better after he had an interception on a potential game-tying pass to the end zone along getting sacked five times. Allen Robinson had a solid opening game, making seven catches for 102 yards, while Tarik Cohen had a team-high eight receptions for 49 yards, but the Chicago offense just couldn’t put things together when it needed to, failing to find the end zone and going 3 for 15 on third downs and 0 for 2 on fourth downs.
Good But Not Enough
Denver had at least a better time of it in its season-opening loss, though the Broncos also ended up 0-1. The vaunted pass rush of the Broncos — especially Von Miller — had its troubles against Oakland, with Miller failing to touch the opposing quarterback for the first time in a game since 2014. The Broncos didn’t cause a turnover and didn’t record a sack, something that they can’t do if they expect to win with an offense that isn’t quite up to speed yet.
Speaking of the offense, quarterback Joe Flacco had a decent game, completing 21 of 31 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown. But the Denver running game, which was considered to be a strength of the team, had just 95 yards on the night against Oakland. Unfortunately, it won’t get much easier against a strong Bears defensive front, but Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman must find some holes to establish the run and keep the pressure off of Flacco when he does go back to pass.
Bears Get Road Win
Neither team was particularly impressive in their opener, but the Bears have a lot more potential. Chicago’s offense has to be more consistent and put points on the board, especially early on in this one, or the pressure on the defense to be almost perfect will increase. Look for a better running game from the Bears in this one. I’m taking Chicago -2 to get its first win of the season.