For the first time in 222 days, the Chicago Bears are taking the field to play a football game. Yes, I realize the regular season opener is 30 days away, but we can’t get there without getting through the arduous rigors of the four-game preseason.
Several Bears rookies are expected to make their professional debuts at Soldier Field tonight, including first-round pick Mitch Trubisky, fan favorite tight end Adam Shaheen, speedy running back Tarik Cohen, and undrafted free agent receiver Tanner Gentry. We’ll also see the return of some familiar faces, some of whom didn’t even play in the 2016 season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. Among those could be cornerback Kyle Fuller, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, center Hroniss Grasu, and receiver Kevin White.
The Denver Broncos provide the opposition, and while they are only a year removed from a Super Bowl title, they are a team in transition. Denver has a new coach (Vance Joseph) and a quarterback quandary between Northwestern product Trevor Siemian going against 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch (with 2017 Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly lurking), but a defense that allowed the fourth fewest yards and points in 2016.
And a reminder: Chicago kicked off its preseason schedule against Denver last year, losing 22-0.
Denver Broncos (2016: 9-7, 3rd AFC West) at Chicago Bears (2016: 3-13, 4th NFC North) – 7 pm CT on FOX, WBBM-AM 780, FM 105.9
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. And hopefully, we can keep the good times rolling throughout the preseason and into the regular season.
John Fox (128-112 overall, 9-23 with Bears) vs. Vance Joseph (first year with Broncos)
Projected Starting Quarterbacks
Bears: Mike Glennon: 4,100 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 59.4 completion percentage, 84.6 rating (21 career games)
Broncos: Trevor Siemian: 3,401 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 59.5 completion percentage 84.6 rating (14 games in 2016)