NFL Preseason Week 1 Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears

Posted by Peter Boysen on August 11, 2016 in

When: Thursday, August 11, 2016, 8:00pm ET

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago

TV: WFLD 32 (Chicago), KTVD 20 (Denver)

Radio: Sports Radio 104.3 FM The Fan Denver / WBBM 105.9 FM Chicago

Live Stream: NFL Game Pass

NFL Odds: Chicago (-1)

 

NFL Preseason Week 1 Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears

 

The Chicago Bears welcome the Denver Broncos to town for the opening week of the 2016 NFL preseason. The Broncos sashay in as world champions, although they no longer have their starting quarterback, as Peyton Manning retired shortly after the team’s Super Bowl victory. They now feature Mark Sanchez in that role, which could make the team even more dependent on their ironclad defense. The Bears feature former Bronco Jay Cutler as their quarterback — and the man coaching the Bears, John Fox, was the one who led the Broncos to their last Super Bowl appearance, when they took a shellacking from the Seahawks. If you can’t wait to start your NFL betting until the regular season, this is an intriguing matchup.

 

Why should you bet on the Bears?

 

Neither of the quarterbacks that the Broncos bring to town are particularly impressive. It sounded like Denver thought Brock Osweiler would inherit the quarterback role, but they didn’t outbid the Houston Texans’ free agent contract offering to Osweiler, and so now he’s down in the Lone Star State. Denver did draft Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, but he’s not going to be ready to start at the NFL level. This means that the Broncos are riding Sanchez for now, and so he could appear throughout much of the first half. But can he move the ball against the Bears? If not (and the Bears do have a solid defense), then the Bears could take the opening win.

 

Why should you put your money on Denver?

 

Yes, the Broncos had Peyton Manning last year, but they won a championship because of their defense — which has largely returned for the 2016 campaign. Jay Cutler was able to avoid the interception bug last year, but they still didn’t contend in the NFC North, and it’s not likely that he’s going to find much traction against the starting defense for the Broncos. I like the Broncos to have a slight edge after the starters go out, and then hold on to the win when the benches empty and the coaches start thinking more about which players to cut than how to win this preseason tilt.

 

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

 

I like what John Fox has done for the Bears, but I don’t see his team as ready to take down Denver yet. I’m predicting a 20-12 Denver win.