Broncos tune up against the Bears
by Dave Gibson
Preseason in the NFL is a time to evaluate players and decide who will make the 53-man roster while hopefully establishing a cohesive unit that will produce both offensively and defensively. Off-season acquisitions and draft picks need to prove themselves in order to enter the starting lineup or simply secure a job. Veterans must demonstrate that they still have the right stuff that earned them a position on the team in the first place.
In Saturday night’s matchup against the Bears at Mile High Stadium, the current projected starters from both teams were slated to play the first quarter and a half. The evening promised Broncos fans a better look at newly acquired quarterback Case Keenum who threw for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns with only seven interceptions playing for the Vikings last year. The quarterback position was a major weakness and lynchpin in the Broncos’ disappointing season a year ago. A good showing by Keenum would restore hope in Broncos Country.
2018 first-round pick Bradley Chubb wasted no time in registering his first NFL sack against Chicago’s QB Mitch Trubisky for a safety early in the opening quarter. The duo of Chubb and Von Miller at linebacker should give opposing quarterbacks nightmares. The Broncos’ second-round draft choice wide receiver Courtland Sutton played well displaying his talents on a 16-yard TD catch. Royce Freeman (selected in the third round) is the strongest candidate at running back, breaking several tackles in a 4-yard TD run up the middle. Another running back, un-drafted former CU standout Phillip Linsay showed promise with a flashy 15-yard scamper, punt return skills, and a special teams tackle. Dare we imagine Freeman and Lindsay as a “thunder and lightning” 1-2 punch rushing tandem? Tight end Jeff Heueman looked good while snagging a 2-point conversion pass, and safety Justin Simmon reeled-in an interception. And Case Keenum had a solid performance at QB going 8-13 for 78 yards while engineering two sustained scoring drives that resulted in a touchdown and field goal. Second-string quarterback Chad Kelly duplicated the effort that culminated in 10 points. The Broncos starting lineup outscored the Bears 23–10, but the Bears prevailed overall with a final score of 24-23 in favor of the Bears.
The Broncos play their last two preseason games on the road at Washington Friday night, August 24, and then in Arizona the following Thursday, August 30. Denver’s regular season games begin on September 9th at home against the Seahawks.
Broncos Regular Season Schedule:
Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2:25 pm vs Seattle
Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2:25 pm vs Oakland
Sunday, Sept. 23 at 11:00 am at Baltimore
Monday, Oct. 1 at 6:15 pm vs Kansas City
Sunday, Oct. 7 at 11:00 am at New York Jets
Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2:95 pm vs Los Angeles Rams
Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6:20 pm at Arizona
Sunday, Oct. 28 at 11:00 am at Kansas City
Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2:05 pm vs Houston
Sunday, Nov. 11 – Bye Week
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2:05 pm vs at Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2:25 pm vs Pittsburgh
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 11:00 am at Cincinnati
Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2:05 pm at San Francisco
Sunday, Dec. 15 TBD vs Cleveland
Monday, Dec. 24 at 6:15 pm at Oakland
Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2:25 pm vs Los Angeles Chargers
To purchase tickets go to www.DenverBroncos.com.
Dave Gibson has been a contributor at the Weekly Register–Call for thirteen years. To view past articles and pictures go to www.DaveGibsonImages.com.
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