3 and out: Breaking down the Bears' wild win over Denver

  • Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) dives in for the touchdown as Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) blocks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Denver.

    Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) dives in for the touchdown as Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) blocks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Denver. Associated Press

By Arthur Arkush
Updated 9/15/2019 9:37 PM

Breaking down the Bears' 16-14 win over the Broncos in Denver on Sunday:

Three moments that mattered


Eddy Money: Eddy Pineiro converted all three of his attempts (40, 52, 53), including his first game-winner -- a 53-yard buzzer beater after Mitch Trubisky found Allen Robinson on a 25-yarder on fourth-and-15 with one second remaining.

The TD drive: The Bears marched 80 yards on their longest drive of the season for their only touchdown, calling nine runs and only one pass attempt (nullified by penalty). Matt Nagy showed he'll commit to the run and top pick David Montgomery, who punctuated the series with his first NFL score. But it hardly quells the concerns regarding Trubisky and an offense with one touchdown through two games.

Chubb's DPI call. After allowing the Broncos to take the lead on a touchdown and two-point conversion with only 31 seconds remaining, the Bears began their final series in dire straits. Bradley Chubb being inexplicably whistled for roughing at the end of a five-yard Trubisky-to-Trey Burton completion moved the Bears to their own 45. It only took one more completion -- from Trubisky to Robinson on the final play from scrimmage -- to position Pineiro for the victory.

Three things that worked

Feeding Montgomery: After getting only seven touches in his debut, Montgomery was the feature backfield attraction with 19 touches for 68 yards and the score. His 3.4-yard average was subpar but the ground commitment led to 153 yards on 29 carries (5.3 YPC) and allowed Chicago to out-possess Denver by nearly six minutes on a day when its quarterbacking again left a ton to be desired.

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Winning the turnover battle: Trubisky was bad but protected the football, unlike Flacco, who tossed an interception that appeared at the time to be the game-sealer to Kyle Fuller in the red zone in the final five minutes. Fuller notching Chicago's first takeaway of the season is fitting after he was the NFL's co-INT leader last season and credits much of his success to new Broncos coach Vic Fangio.

Better play calling: Nagy was still up and down but did move the pocket more for Trubisky and achieve a nearly 50-50 run-pass balance. Chuck Pagano also showed a better understanding of his personnel, with Buster Skrine, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Danny Trevathan all providing key hurries on third-down blitzes to help Chicago get off the field.

Three things that didn't

Trubisky time: He managed only 4.4 yards on his 27 attempts, missing a couple chunk-play chances -- first on an overthrow to Tarik Cohen while moving to his right and later underthrowing Taylor Gabriel off a pretty play-action design -- before his final prayer was answered.

Playing disciplined: The Broncos were set to go for a game-winning two-point conversion in the final minute but were flagged for delay of game then resigned to kick the would-be game-tying extra point. Instead, Buster Skrine jumped offsides, giving Denver new life, which Flacco used to find Emmanuel Sanders for the go-ahead two-pointer. Trubisky was whistled for a delay of game on the penultimate play from scrimmage. Charles Leno short-circuited his second drive in as many weeks with two penalties in succession.


Tackling and covering consistently: The defense wasn't as impenetrable as Week 1, including a few noticeable whiffs on tackles in the middle of the field and also some issues, most notably by a flat-footed Trevathan, in covering Denver's backs and tight ends. Of Denver's 372 total yards, 282 came through the air.

What's next

The Bears get an extra day to recover after this sloppy but exhilarating first victory before visiting Washington on "Monday Night Football." Jay Gruden's club fell to 0-2 Sunday after losing at home to the Dallas Cowboys.

• Twitter: @ArthurArkush.


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