If you watched the Denver Broncos first preseason game against the Chicago Bears you had to walk away with a smile on your face, that is if you’re a Broncos fan.
The Broncos beat the Bears 31-3, showing that the team has depth, toughness, and the will to win. It didn’t matter that this was a meaningless game from a standings perspective. All of the guys that stepped onto the soggy turf at Solider Field played exceptionally hard. That’s how you get a 31-3 score in preseason play.
Let’s break it down:
– Believe it or not, Peyton Manning was the only QB not to lead the Broncos on a scoring drive. Manning led just one drive that ultimately ended when a pass intended for Brandon Stokley was tipped by D.J. Moore and intercepted by Major Wright. Before that, Manning looked comfortable back out on the field and went 4-for-7 for 44 yards. Even though the drive kept the goose egg on the scoreboard, you couldn’t help but get excited about the way he was leading the offense down the field. That 19-yard completion to Eric Decker on 3rd and 17 would not have happened last year, at least not in the first three quarters.
– Derek Wolfe is an animal. He’s this season’s Von Miller; ready to produce and hungry for quarterbacks. Wolfe had 2 sacks for a loss of 8 yards. Well worth picking him up with the first draft pick.
– We know what Willis McGahee can do, so we thought we would be watching Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball battle for the backup role (Ronnie Hillman didn’t play). However, it was Xavier Omon who was the surprise spark out of the backfield.
“He’s got a good quick step to make guys miss,” John Fox said after the game.
Omon finished with 7 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. He showed that he’s a back with good vision and good feet for a guy his size. A few big plays on special teams and this guy will easily make the regular season roster.
– Everyone wanted to see the big guy in action. Brock Osweiler got his time in the second half and made the most of it. He looked more steady than No. 2 QB Caleb Hanie as he went 4-for-7 for 38 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s coming along,” Fox said of Osweiler. “I think he grew up some tonight.”
– Yes, Jay Cutler didn’t play and the Bears’ first string offense wasn’t out there, but this Broncos defense was excellent from top to bottom.
– Whenever you win this big and escape with just minor injuries, it’s a major win. Danny Trevathan (sprained ankle), Chris Gronkowski and Chris Clark (Groin strains) were the ones in the training room after the game. Much better than Chargers’ RB Ryan Mathews suffering a fractured clavicle and requiring surgery.
– This was the most lopsided win for the Broncos in team history. If this game is any indiction of what’s to come, then we’re all in for a special treat, and perhaps a trip to New Orleans in February.