Update: Chicago Bears Week 11 Preview: Denver Broncos


The Chicago Bears take on the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on Sunday. With the rash of injuries to the Broncos’ roster, and the Bears playing well as of late, they could come away with an upset. 

UPDATE: Alshon Jeffrey will NOT play Sunday, making the offensive gameplan more difficult for the Bears. He joins Matt Forte on the inactive list.

The Chicago Bears take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday. They are looking to extend their two game winning streak, and continue their momentum.

The Broncos got hit by the injury bug. Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware did not even make the trip to Chicago, and Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Smith and Vance Walker are all questionable.

The Bears have their own injury trouble. Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Pernell McPhee are all dealing with assorted ailments. With the way the Bears are playing lately, however, they may be able to pull off an upset.

The Bears are feeling good about themselves after taking care of the St. Louis Rams last week. The Jay Cutler narrative is far different this season than in previous seasons. Instead of complaining about frustrating interceptions or making jokes about him.

Cutler has thrown 13 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions, and has a 95.3 passer rating. He has made better decisions on the field, and is playing with some emotion, something not seen in him for practically his entire career.

Cutler understands that the team is playing well, but HE will have to continue his good play. “Offensively, we’re definitely growing,” Cutler said. “We’re heading in the right direction. We’re obviously not there yet. A lot of that — good and bad — is going to fall on the quarterback. That’s every team across the league.”

Denver is where Cutler started his career. He compiled a 17-20 record there, but did make it to the Pro Bowl in 2008. He will now try to beat his former team, while trying to get his current team to become playoff contenders.

This may turn out to be an old-fashioned run-heavy game for the Bears. The Broncos have an excellent secondary, and with a hurt Jeffery as the best receiver, it may be tough to get a lot done through the air. Cutler will definitely have a big test on his hands.

Even without Ware, and the defensive line hurting, the Broncos defense is tough to go against. The Broncos still have Von Miller, who has five sacks and is a load to handle. In the secondary, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris have five interceptions among them, and play well in man-to-man, where Cutler likes to work.

If the Bears are able to have Forte play, they can use him and Jeremy Langford to form a great one-two punch.

The offensive line has been battered and bruised this season, but have done a good job of protecting Cutler and opening holes for the running backs. On Sunday, they get a boost with Hroniss Grasu‘s return. He is recovering from a neck injury, but has practiced, and is listed as probable.

On defense, it will be interesting to see if Denver head coach Gary Kubiak pares down the playbook and go conservative with Brock Osweiler making his first NFL start. Bears head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase know all about Osweiler, so they should be well-prepared for him.

More from Da Windy City

Watch out for the matchup between wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and whoever covers him. Tracy Porter will probably be the main guy, but Kyle Fuller will probably cover him for a few snaps.

Thomas has the size and speed to beat both, so defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will have to come up with a way to try to slow him down. The Broncos rank 29th in the NFL in rushing (86 yards per game), so dealing with a passing game should make it better to plan for.

Next: Jay Cutler Ranked In The Top Ten By Pro Football Focus

This may be a grind-it-out kind of game on Sunday. If the Bears secondary control the Broncos passing game, then it should be another great Bears victory and they can get back to even for the season. ESPN and other sports experts can also continue to talk about how well the team is playing.