It's getting closer to kickoff so grab whatever does the trick for you and get ready to shake it up – it's gonna be a long night here in the 5280… I'll keep you posted.
For the most part, this thing's been about exciting as my ex-wife – but considerably less painful. Biggest highlights include Cutler getting an avalanche of boos every time he tries to breath. Nearly got sacked twice in his own end zone and really hasn't been able to put anything together at this stage… This permanent scowl thing is beginning to get amusing. On the flip side Orton's had some pretty nice short range passes – but nearly tossed a pick and has been behind the receiver a number of time. Broncos did manage to put together a six-play drive to give Matt Prater his shot in the spotlight and take an early 3-0 lead, but the defense has actually been the most impressive coming out of the gate… not that it means a lot during the preseason – but maybe they're not as bad as everybody thinks.
Bears get another shot at it and Cutler (still scowling…) actually starts to connect – 10-plays, 58-yards and we've got a barnburner here at 3-3 as the quarter comes to a close… Broncos had one first down the entire quarter - Bears pulled down three...
Typical preseason – even the media buffet needs work…
Is it too early to say the McDaniels game plan is a little stale. First two plays of the quarter result in a holding penalty and a reverse that even Stevie Wonder could have seen coming. Just doesn't seem to be much imagination is what they're brining to the table right now…
Broncos get trapped so deep in their own end zone they can't even crawl out – so they do the next best thing… punt it away to Devin Hester – Goodbye - lights out – down to the one… Who's brilliant idea was that? Bears score easy and it's 10-3 advantage The Scowl.
Despite consistently over / under throwing his receivers Orton does manage to move it to midfield where it's 3rd and 2 from the 48. More miscommunication – pass intended for Buckhalter is about 3-yards off and Orton comes out of it bleeding from the index finger on his throwing hand… personally I think I'm bleeding internally… Bears take over and they're rolling with the scowl deep in their own end zone.
Sixteen-yards down the middle and JC buys a little real estate… not an encouraging sign. Before you know it they've moved it out to midfield. Broncos "D" is beginning to give up some gaps – and Chicago is taking advantage… Let's see how good the Scowl is at running the two-minute offense.
This is the longest two-minutes in the history of man – and I'm still waiting for a play to happen…between the penalties and the challenges my tolerance level has about had it. JC unloads it to a guy whose name is unpronounceable – pass is incomplete. Just for the record this kids name is spelled Aromashodu – you figure it out… JC's on the move ant it's down to the Broncos six-yard line. "D" tightens it up – it's third down ane the scowl is out of the shotgun – easy strike to Forte – officials decide they need to take a look at it just to prolong my misery…
Play stands as called - Chicago rolls it out 17-3 as the first half thankfully comes to a close. (Desperately searching for alcohol at this stage)
Wanna know how misleading stats can be in the whole scheme of things – Orton is currently in 4th place among NFL preseason completion percentage leaders with a 67.2% completion rate (including tonight). This game is so far out of control even Ed Hochuli can't help… QB Chris Simms is still out for a few wekks so we've got Tom Brandstater behind center – thank god we've got fourth stringer Ingle Martin on the sidelines in case things get really bad…
I take it all back... Brandstater's the "Man" – tremendous 9-play, 61-yard drive topped off with a Peyton Hillis 2-yard plunge that seemed to last an eternity… Denver creeps back in (yea, I know it's preseason – so what...) trailing 17-10.
Third is coming to a close and it's really pick up time at this point...players on the bubble looking to keep from having to apply at McDonalds in the next two weeks. You can put any spin on it you want - but this is a team cemented in the fact they're rebuilding. Not sold on the QB position, not sold on the D line... and we've still the whole Marshall fiasco to deal with... One more quarter to go and we can put another one in the books - this is going to be a long season.
(For those of you still awake - I'm gonna keep this short)
Bears strike back – six plays, 79-yards and it's 24-10… crowd is making a mass exit for the parking lot – really can't blame them. For everybody brave enough to hang – Broncos answer with one of their own – nine plays, 88-yards trims it to 24-17. In essence, their third and fourth string is only slightly better than our mixture of first, second, third and fourth. Wow…. that's neat. I'm headed to the locker room for what promises to be some tremendous interviews. If anything major happens while I'm gone let me know…
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve-years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio and Internet stations around the country. You can follow all of Schon's updates on Twitter or drop him an email at Michael John Schon
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