Denver Broncos vs. Chicago Bears: Inside the Series


The Chicago Bears travel to Mile High Stadium this weekend to play the Denver Broncos in their 14th matchup all-time.

The Bears lead the all-time series at 7-6 and won the most recent matchup in 2007 by an overtime score of 37-34. Chicago hasn’t played in Denver since the 2003 season when the Bears won 19-10.

From a Denver perspective, the most memorable games played in this series were a 31-29 victory in 1987 and a 17-12 victory in 1996, both played in Denver.

The 1996 game featured a Broncos goal line stand at their 1-yard line in the closing moments to secure the win.  I must have been all of 100 feet away from the action during that goal-line stand and I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Old Mile High was at full throat during that 4-play series that included a lineman-eligible play where a Bears lineman dropped a pass in the end zone.  It was another memorable victory during a fantastic season for the Broncos.

The win in 1987 included a classic John Elway finish. The following passage is from a 1987 article written by Don Pierson of the Chicago Tribune:

DENVER — Jim McMahon and John Elway lit up the Mile High Stadium scoreboard and the nation`s television sets Monday night.

The two quarterbacks conducted as perfect a passing clinic as pro football has to offer as the Bears and Broncos battled in one of the most exciting Monday night contests in years.

McMahon had the first 300-yard passing game of his career and Walter Payton had his biggest rushing night of the season as the Bears took an early lead, lost it and regained it in the third quarter.The Bears lost 31-29, with McMahon sacked twice in the closing minutes.

A screaming crowd of 75,783 would not be silenced as McMahon threw two touchdown passes to give the Bears a 14-0 lead.

Elway came back with three touchdown passes in the second period.

McMahon then hit his third and scored another in the third period.

After two missed extra points by the Bears` Kevin Butler, a 42-yard field goal by Butler gave the Bears a 29-21 lead with 1:30 left in the third period. A 27-yard field goal by Rich Karlis put the Broncos behind 29-24 with 12:20 left in the game.

After McMahon threw an interception, Bronco halfback Steve Sewell scored on a 4-yard run to give the Broncos a 31-29 lead with 4:58 to play.

Bears` coach Mike Ditka nearly stole the show in the second quarter by sending in William Perry at the goal line when the Bears were threatening to take a 21-7 lead.

Perry fumbled, giving the Broncos new life.

The Series

Bears Leads Overall Series, 7-6:

1971—Broncos, 6-3 (Denver)

1973—Bears, 33-14 (Denver)

1976—Broncos, 28-14 (Chicago)

1978—Broncos, 16-7 (Denver)

1981—Bears, 35-24 (Chicago)

1983—Bears, 31-14 (Chicago)

1984—Bears, 27-0 (Chicago)

1987—Broncos, 31-29 (Denver)

1990—Bears, 16-13 (Denver) OT

1993—Broncos, 13-3 (Chicago)

1996—Broncos, 17-12 (Denver)

2003—Bears, 19-10 (Denver)

2007—Bears, 37-34 (Chicago) OT

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