Well, that was easy.
The Denver Broncos opened their preseason against the Chicago Bears on Thursday, and the game kind of looked like one of those Mike Tyson fights from the ’80s where he knocked the other guy out in 30 seconds.
The Broncos won 22-0. They scored on offense, defense and special teams. They led 20-0 at halftime, and it felt like 40-0.
Below are some observations from the game. Please take everything with a grain of salt; this is the preseason, after all. The Eagles’ offense looked like the ’07 Patriots’ this time a year ago; after the season was over, Chip Kelley got fired.
Anyways, here they are:
Mark Sanchez did Mark Sanchez things.
He played the first quarter and looked great on Denver’s first drive, going for 83 yards on 7-for-8 passing. He capped it with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.
But later in the quarter, Sanchez reverted back to his turnover-prone ways. He tried to throw on the run while rolling out to his right, and the pass got tipped and picked off. He played three drives total and finished 10-for-13 for 99 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception, which is right in line with his career numbers. In six seasons, he’s thrown 86 touchdowns and 84 picks.
Sanchez was sharp aside from the interception— but it was still an interception. This remains his job to lose.
Trevor Siemian looked good.
He played the entire second quarter and threw for 88 yards on 7-for-12 passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was probably better than his final line suggested. He threw a nice pair of passes deep in Bears’ territory that could’ve been scores. His outside-shoulder throw to Bennie Fowler on a fade route stood out in particular.
You can see why Denver is so enamored with Paxton Lynch.
The rookie came in and played a very efficient second half. He looked mobile and accurate, and he stepped up in the pocket when he needed to. The Bears aren’t very good, and he played against their reserves. But it was still impressive. He looks like a great fit for head coach Gary Kubiak’s offense, which features lots of play-action passes and rollouts. There was also something funky going on with his hair, which doesn’t have much to do with anything. I just felt like you should know.
The Broncos defense looked like, well, the Broncos defense.
OK, OK, now that we’ve got the quarterbacks out of the way, we can talk about a unit that is going to absolutely terrorize offenses this year. Denver limited Chicago to 130 yards on 50 plays. That comes out to a yards-per-play average of 2.6, or what amounts to a college kid’s shitty GPA. The Broncos had seven sacks that brought the Bears back 64 yards. And that was without Von Miller and Demarcus Ware. Vontarrius Dora, Dekoda Watson, Jared Crick, Will Parks, Shane Ray, Derek Wolfe and T.J. Ward all got sacks. The Broncos defense looks scary.
Brandon McManus continued to look shaky.
Freaking out about a punter after one preseason game is about as smart as sticking a fork in an outlet, so I’m not going to do that. However, I am going to point out that McManus missed a field goal and had another one blocked Thursday — this after what, by all accounts, has been a rough camp for the Broncos kicker and sometimes food blogger. There’s no reason to panic yet. It’s just something to monitor going forward.