The Denver Broncos’ quarterback battle will continue, while the Chicago Bears may have a quarterback controversy starting in earnest.
De’Angelo Henderson broke a touchdown run 41 yards on a draw play with 1:49 left, and the Broncos topped the Bears 24-17 on a night when Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky stole the spotlight from the Denver quarterback battle.
Denver’s Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch combined for less than 100 passing yards, but rookie Kyle Sloter rallied the Broncos after Trubisky ignited the Bears’ offense.
Trubisky came on just before halftime and directed three scoring drives, leading the Bears back from a 10-0 deficit. He finished 18-for-25 for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Trubisky replaced backup Mark Sanchez just before halftime and directed TD drives of 50 and 75 yards, hitting on his first nine passes. He eventually completed 10 straight before his first incompletion 1:35 into the fourth quarter.
The second pick in the 2017 draft, Trubisky rolled left for a 2-yard TD pass on third down to Victor Cruz 13 seconds before halftime, going 5-for-5 for 50 yards on the 75-yard march as the Bears cut Denver’s lead to 10-7. Benny Cunningham’s 1-yard TD run ended the second scoring drive with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Trubisky’s longest completion of 24 yards to Deonte Thompson set up a 25-yard Connor Barth field goal for a 17-10 lead.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace insisted since Trubisky was drafted that the starting job belonged to free agent acquisition Mike Glennon, saying that the rookie was a long-term project. Trubisky is third on the depth chart behind Glennon and Sanchez.
While Trubisky excelled against backups, Glennon struggled in his Bears preseason debut against the Broncos’ starters. He went 2-for-8 for 20 yards with an interception.
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. returned the interception 50 yards for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage to start Denver’s first string on the way to a 10-0 lead.
The Broncos started Siemian over Lynch. Neither had a big game, as they combined for 93 passing yards.
Siemian played three series and did nothing to diminish his chances to start. He directed a 60-yard drive to Brandon McManus’ 38-yard field goal with 7:02 left in the first quarter for a 10-0 lead.
Siemian finished 6-for-7 with 51 yards. Lynch played through the third quarter and finished 6-for-9 for 42 yards.
Sloter finished in the fourth quarter and threw a game-tying, 47-yard TD pass to Isaiah McKenzie with 6:01 left.