CHICAGO—Sometimes, you can tell in three plays.
Three plays are all first-year Denver Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph needed to realize he inherited a really good defense. Three plays are all the Denver defense and the No Fly Zone needed to show their old coach John Fox the Chicago Bears’ new quarterback had no shot.
On the third play of the Broncos’ opening preseason game, Bears quarterback Mike Glennon dropped back in the pocket, was harassed by outside linebacker Kasim Edebali, who was starting in place of Von Miller, and simply threw it up for grabs in quadruple coverage.
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., a three-time Pro Bowler and defending first-team All Pro selection, caught the popup pass at midfield and ran untouched to the end zone for a 50-yard interception return.
The Broncos were up, 7-0. Take the rest of the night off, guys.
The Broncos led 10-7 at halftime in the preseason game played at Soldier Field. In The Great Quarterback Competition, Trevor Siemian completed 6 of 7 passes for 51 yards. He generated 3 points in three possessions. Paxton Lynch was 1 of 3 for 10 yards with no points in two possessions. Lynch also scrambled twice for 4 yards.
Denver’s second-string defense continue to apply pressure on Glennon and Mark Sanchez, holding the Bears scoreless late in the second quarter when rookie Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall draft pick, engineered a 50-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:42 of the game.
Trubisky was 4 of 4 for 24 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown flip to a wide open Victory Cruz, the former New York Giants’ star.
Siemian, the Broncos starting quarterback, overcame his own protection breakdowns to engineer a 10-play, 60-yard drive before settling for a Brandon McManus field goal on the Broncos’ first offensive possession.
The drive started with Siemian hanging on to the ball a tick too long as he looked for an open receiver and Bears’ edge rusher Leonard Floyd beat new Broncos right tackle Menelik Watson for a 7-yard sack.
But C.J. Anderson, who had a nice opening drive, got 6 yards back on his first carry and then Siemian drilled a hook pattern to a well-covered Demaryius Thomas for 11 yards and the first down.
The drive reached the Bears’ 20, but on third-and-7, Siemian was lucky to get rid of the ball in the face of a fierce pass rush and McManus booted a 38-yard field goal.
Anderson rushed for 19 yards on four carries on the opening drive. He came out and was replaced by Stevan Ridley.
To review the first half for the Broncos: Their offense sputtered and their defense was superb until the Bears took advantage of great field position at the end of the half.