The Denver Broncos were able to get their first win of the season on Sunday, and the first win of Sean Payton's tenure with the team, but it didn't come easily.
Fans sat through another rough first half as the defense made Justin Fields look like a Pro Bowler. Fields was 23-of-24 passing at one point in this game and the Bears were on top 28-7. The Broncos, who still have an incredibly bad defense, were able to fight their way back and somehow steal the game from Chicago, 31-28.
It had to be quite the emotional roller coaster for Broncos fans, many of whom had taken to social media to berate the team's performance. After a 50-point drubbing last week against the Miami Dolphins, getting blown out by the lowly Bears could have been a new low.
The Broncos showed some heart, finally, and rallied to beat the Bears, sending them to 0-4 and into the driver's seat for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Here was the good and bad from Week 4.
Winners: Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper
Heading into this season, the Broncos expected the heavy lifting in the pass-rushing department to be handled by Randy Gregory, Baron Browning and Frank Clark. While those three players have offered the team next to nothing this season, their backups, Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper, are starting to find their groove.
Both players came up huge against the Bears. Bonitto had a huge game, registering 2.5 sacks and four tackles. Cooper had one sack and five tackles. But the two also combined to make the single biggest play of this game.
With the Broncos trailing 28-21 with about seven minutes left in the game, Bears quarterback Justin Fields took the snap and went to roll out but found Bonitto right in his face. Bonitto was able to knock the ball free and Cooper picked it up off of one bounce and ran it the other way for the game-tying score.
Both of these guys are hot right now and the first step to making this defense better should be giving them more snaps over the likes of Gregory and Clark, whenever he is healthy.