Bears get outplayed by Broncos in preseason opener

Bears get outplayed by Broncos in preseason opener

It wasn't difficult to tell which team is coming off a Super Bowl title and which team finished last in their division when the Bears and Denver Broncos took the field on Thursday evening.

Despite playing without defensive stalwarts Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, the Denver Broncos registered seven sacks as they annihilated the Bears, 22-0, in Thursday's preseason opener. About the only positive the Bears can take away is they'll escape the first preseason tilt without any serious injuries and that Pat O'Donnell got about two weeks worth of punting reps.

From the onset the Broncos looked like a well-oiled machine as Mark Sanchez engineered a 10-play, 76-yard drive on the first drive of the game against a Bears defense minus two starters in cornerback Tracy Porter and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee. Sanchez capped off the drive when Broncos wide receiver burned Bryce Callahan for 32-yard touchdown reception.

The Bears first-team offense didn't fare much better than the first-team defense.

The Bears offensive line couldn't keep quarterback Jay Cutler upright as he was sacked twice on the team's first two possessions of the game. Cutler and the starters were pulled after three series that resulted in 13 total yards. Cutler finished his first preseason game by completing 3-of-4 passes for 16 yards. Starting wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White combined for two receptions for 15 yards, while starting running back Jeremy Langford was only able to manage seven yards on four carries.

Brian Hoyer, who signed a one-year deal to serve as Cutler's backup, got his first action in a Bears uniform when he took over in the second quarter. The protection issues didn't get any better for Hoyer as he was sacked three times in the first half. Hoyer accounted for one of two Bears turnovers when he overthrew Deonte Thompson and the ball found the outstretched arms of Broncos cornerback Lorenzo Doss.

The Bears' special teams unit got in on the uninspiring effort when rookie defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson allowed Bennie Fowler to get around him and block O'Donnell's punt attempt. Broncos linebacker Zaire Anderson scooped the ball in the end zone to give the Broncos a 20-0 lead just before the first half came to a conclusion.

The Broncos tacked on two more points in the third quarter with a safety of Bears third-string quarterback David Fales.

The last time the Bears were shut out in a preseason game came at the hands of the Broncos in 1975.

The Bears continue their preseason schedule when they head to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots next Thursday night.

The Bears have the top-ranked defense in Madden 20, plus other takeaways from today's ratings reveal

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The Bears have the top-ranked defense in Madden 20, plus other takeaways from today's ratings reveal

A boatload of Madden ratings dropped on Monday, and with it, more content than you could shake a stick at. 

The Bears, predictably, got a fair bit of love on the defensive side of the ball and were largely ignored on offense. 

No Fangio, No Problem

For a wide variety of reasons, it's trendy to point out that the Bears' defense is headed for some regression this season. Madden disagrees, though, rating the Bears defense (88) as the best in football. They did also give the Houston Texans' defense an 88 as well, but never let the details get in the way of a good story. Here's what they said: 

For Chicago, the unit is fronted by 99 Club member, LOLB Khalil Mack. FS Eddie Jackson (91 OVR) is a Superstar X-Factor like his teammate, Mack. That’s a scary combination for any opposing quarterback. Toss in CB Kyle Fuller (89 OVR) and you can see why this Bears unit should roar out of the gate in Madden 20. 

Year 2 Mitch Doesn't Get Any Love 

Trubisky was rated as the 24th best QB, which is already being debated passionately, regardless of how debatable it actually is. What's lowkey worse is that Chase Daniel, the 9-year NFL vet, got the same rating as Dax Raymond, the undrafted free agent. 

May We Remind You That Khalil Mack Is A Terrific Football Player 

Earlier in the month, Mack was revealed as one of the 4 players who received the infamous 99 rating. That means he's also the top-ranked LOLB, two points ahead of Denver's Von Miller and 16 points ahead of any NFC North LOLB. Enjoy those draft picks, Oakland! 

Akiem Hicks Gets Snubbed And Frankly We've Just About Had It 

Hicks was ranked as the 19th-best defensive lineman, which is just objectively untrue. In some alternate universe, there may be 18 better defensive linemen than Akiem Hicks, but that is just simply inaccurate in this one. He was heated about his rating, and we cannot blame him. 

The Lowest Ranked Bears Player Was ... 

Patrick Scales. Sorry Patrick Scales.

Akiem Hicks not happy with Madden 20 ratings: ‘Tell them to come see me’

Akiem Hicks not happy with Madden 20 ratings: ‘Tell them to come see me’

EA Sports released the full Madden 20 player ratings for every team in the NFL, and not everyone was happy with the numbers they received.

The Bears shared a video of backup quarterback Chase Daniel revealing ratings to his teammates, and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks seemed the most upset of the group.

“Bring some of the scouts out here doing the madden ratings,” Hicks said. “Tell them to come see me.”

Hicks received an overall rating of 87, tied for fourth-highest on the team and 10th-highest among defensive ends.

He has the same rating as Green Bay Packers DE Mike Daniels and Detroit Lions DE Trey Flowers.

In the video, running back Tarik Cohen was disappointed with his 92 speed, which is tied for third-fastest on the team behind wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Emanuel Hall.

Cohen does lead the Bears with 97 agility and 92 elusiveness, but he thought his throwing power stat should be higher than 51 after his two career passing touchdowns.