Cutler, Bears come up just short against Osweiler, Broncos


Cutler, Bears come up just short against Osweiler, Broncos

For most of the Bears-Broncos game at Soldier Field Sunday, it wasn't obvious which team was 7-2 and which team was 4-5. 

In the end, the Bears just didn't make enough plays to win, as the Broncos walked away with a 17-15 victory.

Both teams were playing without several top players (Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders out for the Broncos; Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, Antrel Rolle out for the Bears) and with Brock Osweiler making his first career start at quarterback for Denver and the Bears without top offensive options, both teams resigned to a conservative approach on offense.

That conservative approach reared its head with the Bears going for a game-tying two-point conversion with 24 seconds left, as offensive coordinator Adam Gase called a run with Jeremy Langford out of the shotgun. He was denied and the Bears couldn't recover the onside kick, resulting in a heartbreaking two-point loss after an inspired effort.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The Broncos scored a touchdown on the first drive of the game as poor coverage left Demaryius Thomas wide open and poor tackling helped the All-Pro receiver find the endzone for a 48-yard score.

But the Bears defense stiffened after that, containing the Broncos offense and allowing just a field goal until Osweiler hit Cody Latimer for a 10-yard TD with just under 12 minutes left in the game.

The problem for the Bears was a lack of punch on offense, where they were forced to settle for three field goals on their first six possessions inside Broncos territory.

Jay Cutler and Co. responded to the Broncos' fourth-quarter TD by marching downfield more than 70 yards on two plays, thanks in large part to a 15-yard personal foul by Denver safety T.J. Ward for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cutler after an 18-yard scramble. But the Bears failed to punch it in the endzone, turning the ball over on downs after three straight incomplete passes by Cutler.

After the Bears defense held and forced a punt, Cutler marched the offense downfield again before Broncos star rusher Von Miller hit the ball out of Cutler's hand. The ball then bounced off Bears guard Patrick Omameh and into the hands of Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson.

The Bears defense held again, sacking Osweiler on third down to force another punt. 

Cutler led the offense down the field one more time, before punching it in the endzone on a Langford carry and coming up short on the two-point conversion.

Considering he was without his top options on offense, Cutler turned in a gutsy effort, using his legs and feet to dance around in the pocket and buy time for an overmatched receiving corps.

Cutler finished the day with a 70.4 passer rating against the NFL's top defense, completing 18 of his 32 passes for 265 yards and one interception (and the fumble).

The Bears moved to 4-6 on the season and will head to Green Bay for a Thanksgiving night matchup with the Packers.

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history


ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.


The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.


The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.


Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”