It's difficult, and somewhat foolhardy to read too much into the first of preseason games, right? Maybe it is, but then again ...
The Broncos faced the Bears last night in their preseason opener. The media takeaway for Denver is that they are not much closer to solving their quarterback riddle. Sanchez through a fortunate TD to Damarius Thomas while being hit by former Bronco Danny Trevathan. He ended his night with the sadly expected interception. Seimian played more aggressively downfield and worked better than the cautious performance at practice would suggest. Lynch looked raw but very talented, and very strong. Interesting, but a conundrum to be solved another day. Ronnie Hillman had a great night, with C.J. Anderson not playing. One has to wonder if it's enough to keep his job. Still, these were not my takeaways.
The Broncos defense took the field without 7 of last year's starters. Trevathan is a Bear, Malik Jackson is a Jaguar, and David Bruton plays for the Taterskins. The pro-bowlers Ward, Miller, Harris Jr., and Alib did not play. As such, the results were less than optimal. By optimal, I mean the offensive opponent gaining zero yards. What did happen should have offensive coordinators league wide popping ulcer pills and coping with sleepless nights if they have to face the orange and blue. Denver sent a message that preseason or not, 4 of last year's league best starters or not, this defense will reign woe on anyone.
The Bears gained 130 yards of total offense against a team featuring rookies and backups. 46% of Chicago plays resulted in 0 or negative yardage. The closest the Bears got to the goal line was the Denver 46. The Broncos racked 7 sacks, with one being for a safety. 2 points, K'ching 9 Different Bronco players had sacks or partial sacks, but sadly the Denver D had only 1 interception. The game ended 22 to nothing, with Chicago proving to be utterly ineffective against guys who could start for other teams but won't make the roster in Denver. These weren't the heroes who propelled Denver to the SB 50 win. These are guys fighting for a job in the NFL, and they dominated the Bears.
I find this time of the NFL year to be somewhat sad. 2880 men show up for work at camp. Only 1696 (not including practice squad players) will have a job in the NFL come Sept. 8th, when Von Miller gets his next chance to terrorize Cam Newton, opening the NFL season in Denver. Preseason decides who gets a job, who plays for someone else, and who goes home. It is sad that the Broncos are so deep on defense that some of the players who shone last night will not be in the mile high city on that Thursday night. They are deep, complete and hungry. Seattle has probably the best defensive backfield in football, with Sherman, Chancellor and Thomas. Arizona may not agree. The Rams and Panthers might vie with one another for the best front seven in football. The Broncos just showed that they can compete with anyone using any 11 players they want. The Denver Broncos just sent a very clear message to the rest of the league. 'You don't think we're the best defense playing? You'd better prove it. Because we are, and we will.'