Denver Broncos (9-7) at Chicago Bears (3-13)
NFL Football: Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Soldier Field)
The Line: Chicago Bears +1.5 -- Over/Under: 35.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears meet Thursday in NFL preseason action at Soldier Field.
The Denver Broncos hope to build confidence early after going from winning the Super Bowl to not even making the playoffs. Denver already named Trevor Siemian its starting quarterback, which likely means we’re going to see a lot of Paxton Lynch in this contest. The Broncos have an interesting thing going on at running back with Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker both banged up, so it opens the door for guys like Juwan Thompson and Stevan Ridley. The Broncos also have offensive line concerns with four projected new starters in Garett Bolles, Ronald Leary, Allen Barbre and Menelik Watson. Defensively, the Denver Broncos pretty much are what they’ve been over the years, but guys such as DeMarcus Walker, Kasim Edebali and Brendan Langley can show and prove during these exhibitions to add confident depth heading into the regular season.
The Chicago Bears will take what they can get after not making the playoffs since 2010 and winning a combined nine games the last two seasons. The Bears have three new quarterbacks in Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Mitchell Trubisky, and it’s going to be interesting to see if any of those players can show flashes of hope given the struggles this franchise has had over the years. Of course, the other topic of conversation in Chicago is seeing a healthy Kevin White on the field, as he could be a real difference maker when you pair him with Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright. Defensively, the Chicago Bears return the bulk of their starters but did make improvements in the backfield with the additions of Quintin Demps and Prince Amukamara. Simply put: the Bears need anybody and everybody to step up to show there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Broncos are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on grass. The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Broncos are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings and the under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
I've mentioned many times that preseason for me is all about quarterback depth. And while the Bears have a bunch of question marks at the position, they do have three guys fighting for either a starting or backup role. The Broncos only have two healthy quarterbacks, and one of them is Lynch, who can't even be given a quarterback battle before preseason begins. Sometimes teams with the most questions are the teams that play the best in preseason because it opens up competition and brings the best out of guys. I like the Bears in this game at home.