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The Chicago Bears took on the Denver Broncos under the lights at Soldier Field to kick off their preseason play. Not only were Bear fans fortunate enough to see their team play, they also got a glimpse of Peyton Manning in his first game with the Broncos.
Manning completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards and threw an interception in the 31-3 victory. It was evident that Manning was grateful and excited to be back under center for the first time since missing all of last season. Manning connected with three different wide receivers within his first four pass attempts, already spreading the field and keeping defenses guessing. Denver’s offensive line kept Manning protected very well and did not allow him to get hit once. Peyton’s leadership and experience definitely makes the Broncos a team to look out for once the regular season comes along.
As for the Chicago Bears, their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, warmed up, but did not play because of the birth of his first child on Wednesday. As a result, Jason Campbell started for the Bears and completed 4 of 5 passes for 13 yards. In addition, running back Matt Forte sat and watched from the sideline, giving the start to newly acquired Michael Bush.
Bush carried the ball three times for two yards and also fumbled. Also, wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, caught one pass for four yards in his Bears debut. The addition of both Bush and Marshall makes the Bears become an offensive threat this upcoming season. Not to mention that Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are already very well acquainted with each other after playing together in Denver.
However, the only positive offensive note for the Bears from Thursday’s game was rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery led the Bears receiving core with four receptions for 35 yards. The former South Carolina Gamecock was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft and signed a four-year deal in early May. Jeffery has been playing extremely well during training camp and is showing a ton of potential.
Defensively for the Bears, Julius Peppers also watched from the sidelines. In addition, linebacker Brian Urlacher did not play for reported personal reasons. However, Urlacher has been suffering from some knee soreness.
Chicago will welcome RGIII and the Washington Redskins Saturday, August 18, for their second preseason game. As for the Broncos, they will also be in action August 18 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Although the Bears finished last season with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs, their offseason additions could possibly help make them the second best team in the NFC North Division behind the Green Bay Packers.
Image Courtesy of Chicago Bears