DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos are hoping not to party like its 1999. (That was the last time the Orange and Blue started a season 0-2.) In order for the Broncos to get their first win of the season, they will need to beat a Chicago Bears team with one of the best defenses in the NFL. Here’s four things to keep an eye on for the big game.
Can the Broncos offensive line Contain the Bears bevy of pass rushers?
The Broncos will go up against one of the best defensive fronts in the league. Outside linebackers Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd lead a defense that was dominant last year. The Bears gave up the least amount of points (17.7), had the most takeaways (36), and the third most sacks last season.
Denver will go into the game with back up right tackle Elijah Wilkinson filling in for the injured Ja’Wuan James who will miss several weeks with a knee sprain. Left tackle Garett Bolles has been flagged 30 times in 33 NFL starts.
The Broncos offensive line will need to improve quickly as they gave up three sacks to the Raiders on Monday night.
Von Miller and Bradley Chubb should be able to get to the Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky.
The Broncos defense failed to lay a finger on Derek Carr, not getting a hit on the opposing quarterback for the first time since Dec. 14, 2014.
It shouldn’t be a problem this week as the Bears gave up five sacks last week to the Packers. Von Miller also needs two sacks to reach 100 for his career.
Will the Broncos offense repeat their 4th quarter execution?
Despite the Broncos offense only scoring one touchdown in their four trips inside the red zone, there were several positives to build upon.
In the 4th quarter, Joe Flacco completed 9 of his 9 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Courtland Sutton also had a breakout game, catching 7 passes for 120 yards. Sutton is physical mismatch for the shorter Bears corners Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara.
Chris Harris Jr. covers Allen Robinson.
Mitchell Trubisky’s top receiving target is Allen Robinson. The Bears receiver had 7 catches for 102 yards against the Packers. Harris will be the primary defender looking to force Trubisky to find other targets on the field.
Stat to Know: Since Empower Field at Mile High opened in 2001, the Broncos are 17-1 in home openers. The only loss was in 2011.
The Broncos host the Chicago Bears at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday at 2:25 p.m.