After a nice long road trip, the Broncos have their final three of four games at home. They kick off this home stand by hosting the Chicago Bears in week 14.
Midway Jay will be returning to Denver for his first regular season game at Invesco since he was traded. Cutler and the Bears played in Denver in an ’09 preseason game in which the Bears won.
Da Bears took the NFC North by storm last season, winning the division with an 11-5 record. They advanced all the way to the Conference Championship where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers.
The Bears performance last year during the regular season proves that defense is everything. The team’s offense struggled. They were ranked 22nd in rushing and 28th in passing. Cutler had no protection whatsoever. He was the most sacked QB in the league, taking 12 more sacks in one less game than Joe Flacco who came in second in being sacked. Cutler still threw for 3,274 yards with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Matt Forte had over 1,000 yards rushing while Johnny Knox was the team’s leading receiver.
Defensively, the Bears were 4th in points allowed per game (17.9). They did a descent job pressuring opposing QBs, and they were ranked 2nd in rush defense and 20th in pass defense. As usual Brian Urlacher was a beast on the field. He led the team in tackles and had 4 sacks. Julius Peppers, who John Fox is all too familiar with, had 8 sacks last season as did Israel Idonije. Chris Harris and Charles Tillman had 5 interceptions each, and D.J. Moore had 4 of his own.
The way the Bears succeeded last year was they peaked at the right time. Their defense was strong throughout the season, but it stepped things up a notch during the postseason. Then, the offense kept mistakes to a minimum and got points on the board.
The Bears look to return most of their players from a year ago, so even though this is a home game for the Broncos, it will likely feel like an away game. The competition is stiff and physical, and many Bears fans travel to away games.
I don’t want to be the Bear-er of bad news, but on paper, this one doesn’t look good for the Broncos.
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