Special teams put the Bears in position to win Sunday. That should have been enough.
Devin Hester fair-caught 5 punts, but his 26-yard punt return in the third quarter gave the Bears their best field position of the game at the Denver 42 and set up the first points of the game for either team. Charles Tillmans holding penalty contributed to a drive starting at the Chicago 5 in the second quarter.
Robbie Gould gave the Bears a two-score lead with a 57-yard field goal, longest of his career, on the first play of the fourth quarter
Julius Peppers was credited with a blocked field goal in the second quarter when he and Israel Idonije collapsed the middle of the Denver line on a 28-yard attempt Gould gave the Broncos no chances for returns on his 3 kickoffs.
Adam Podlesh averaged 46.4 yards on 5 first-half punts to keep the Bears in the field-position battle. He finished with a 47.8-yard average, with 4 punts inside the 20. And he was consistent, forced to punt 11 times without incident.
Podleshs inside-the-20s were the result in part by good coverage. The Broncos were able to average 9.1 yards on 8 returns, however, none longer than 14 yards.
Credit coaches for making the right decision to go with Gould on the 57-yarder. And the thinking appeared to be conservative with Hester fair-catching so many in a close game where one fumble could be pivotal.