Bears, Broncos meet in a matchup of winless and reeling teams

Thu, Sep 28, 2023
NFL News (AP)

Bears, Broncos meet in a matchup of winless and reeling teams

DENVER (0-3) at CHICAGO (0-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS

BETTING LINE: Broncos by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Denver 0-3; Chicago 0-3

Other news Cousins looks for another big day against Panthers as Vikings search for 1st victory of the season With hopes of improving offense, Jaguars head across the pond to host Falcons at Wembley As the debate over the value of running backs rages, the Steelers provide an interesting case study

SERIES RECORD: Series tied 8-8.

LAST MEETING: Bears beat Broncos 16-14 on Sept. 15, 2019, in Denver.

LAST WEEK: Broncos lost 70-20 at Miami; Bears lost 41-10 at Kansas City.

BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (15), RUSH (20), PASS (8), SCORING (T15)

BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (32), PASS (29), SCORING (32)

BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (29), RUSH (17), PASS (31), SCORING (27)

BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (T29), RUSH (20), PASS (30), SCORING (31)

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Broncos minus-4; Bears minus-4

BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: Rookie WR Marvin Mims Jr. is about the only Bronco worth keeping an eye on right now. The second-round draft pick from Oklahoma has totaled 332 all-purpose yards on just 11 touches over the past two games. That's a whopping 30.2 yards per touch. Against the Dolphins, he had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. A week earlier he had a 45-yard punt return and had two catches for 113 yards, including a 60-yard TD reception on a Russell Wilson audible against the Commanders.

BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. Fields indicated last week he's being fed too much information by the coaches and thinking too much as a result, then threw for 99 yards in another rough outing. Fields - 5-23 as a starter - has a 67.7 passer rating that ranks among the worst in the NFL. If he can't get going this week, then when can he?

KEY INJURIES: Star safety Justin Simmons (hip) was sorely missed in Week 3 when his absence meant the Broncos were down to their fourth string safety if Delarrin Turner-Yell. K'Waun Williams and P.J. Locke are on IR. ... ILB Josey Jewell suffered a groin injury against the Dolphins and is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Drew Sanders. ... OLB Frank Clark (hip) is still out. ... DT Mike Purcell (ribs) got hurt last weekend. ... The Bears are missing the left side of their offensive line, with LG Teven Jenkins (leg) and LT Braxton Jones (neck) on injured reserve. ... S Eddie Jackson (foot) missed last week's game. ... CB Jaylon Johnson (hamstring) left the Kansas City game.

SERIES NOTES: Eddy Pineiro kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Bears a wild win in 2019 after the Broncos took the lead 31 seconds earlier on a gutsy 2-point call by then-coach Vic Fangio, Chicago's former defensive coordinator. The teams are meeting at Soldier Field for the first time since 2015, when Denver won 17-15.

STATS AND STUFF: Denver gave up 726 yards in the franchise's second-worst blowout of the Super Bowl era, behind only a 51-0 loss to the Raiders in 1967. ... Mims has had 168 and 164 all-purpose yards over the past two games despite touching the ball just 11 times total. ... QB Russell Wilson has had back-to-back 300-yard games for the first time since 2020, but although he is off to a good start statistically he's just 4-14 as the Broncos' starter. ... Head coach Sean Payton can match Fangio's futility record with a loss Sunday. Fangio started his first season in Denver with four losses in 2019. That's the worst start ever by a first-year Broncos head coach. ... With two touchdown catches so far, WR Courtland Sutton has already matched his total from each of the past two seasons. However, his performance last week in which he caught eight passes for 91 yards was marred by his two fumbles that led to Miami touchdowns. ... Chicago has lost 13 straight since a Week 7 win at New England last season. ... The Bears have a league-low one sack after finishing at the bottom of the NFL in 2022 with 20. League leader Pittsburgh has 13, by comparison. ... Chicago has two interceptions, both coming against Blaine Gabbert last week after Patrick Mahomes left the game. ... The Bears have had some success running the ball, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. ... Rookie RB Roschon Johnson is averaging 5.3 yards per attempt.

FANTASY TIP: The Bears haven't called many designed runs for Fields. Maybe that changes this week, considering the Broncos rank last against the run. Fields rushed for 1,143 yards in 2022 and just missed the single-season record for a quarterback of 1,206 by Baltimore's Lamar Jackson in his 2019 MVP season.

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