Yes, this is only the second preseason game, but the pressure was apparent.

That sounds like hyperbole to say this early, but this time of the NFL season is all about habits and trends — good or bad. The Denver Broncos had the chance on Saturday night to show what they put on the field against the Minnesota Vikings last week would not become more than a bad game.

It is only the second preseason game, but mission accomplished against the Chicago Bears. There were way more winners than losers, even in the Broncos 24-23 loss.

Winners

Phillip Lindsay

The undrafted free agent, fan favorite was all over the field. He showed the play-making ability as a running back, showed hints of the weapon he could be as a punt returner and was even in on a special teams tackle.

One of the best ways for a young player to stand out is to do what Lindsay did against the Bears. If he didn’t Sharpie his name onto Denver’s roster, I don’t know what else he could do.

Courtland Sutton

Man, oh, man. For all we didn’t see out of the rookie receiver against the Vikings, Sutton and the Broncos more than made up for it on Saturday. He drew a 45-yard pass interference penalty on third down and caught a 16-yard bullet for a touchdown from Chad Kelly.

Both plays exhibit the weapon Sutton could be in this offense. And the fact the Broncos were so aggressive on the play that drew the penalty is huge for this offense. You can add DaeSean Hamilton to this as well. When he and Case Keenum get their timing down, that slight overthrow in the south endzone in the first quarter is a touchdown.

Kelly

In his first test to become Denver’s backup quarterback, he passed in flying colors. Kelly finished the night 7-of-9 for 90 yards and a touchdown. He carried over the swag he brought to the offense and a buzz to the game.

At the very least, Kelly got the attention of the coaches and John Elway. The key is to remain consistent and get even better. If he does that in the all-important third preseason game, Kelly is the backup.

Bradley Chubb

We got a taste of what the Orange Rush will do this season when Chubb got his first sack in the NFL, which resulted in a safety. If that play doesn’t give you all the feels of what he and Von Miller will do to quarterbacks this season, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s also the latest indication fans need to get and rock this awesome Orange Rush shirt.

DeMarcus Walker

We all know about the Orange Rush, but Walker may be the most important player on the defense this. If he’s able to get consistent pressure from the interior of the defensive line, that makes the outside rush even better. Think back to the Broncos defense that led to the Super Bowl 50 win with Malik Jackson. If Walker is consistent, he’ll have a huge impact for this defense.

First-team offense/defense

Coming into the game, I wanted to see sustained drives that ended with points and rhythm from the offense. On defense, make adjustments on run defense/limit big plays. Definitely positive developments and steps in the right direction.

Losers

Will Parks

For nothing else than getting injured. The good news is he was walking on his own on the sideline, and Vance Joseph said after the game that it was just a contusion. No structural damage.

Paxton Lynch

Was else is there to say? It’s so bad for him he got booed when he took the field. Elway and the Broncos need to move on. At this point, it’s better for all involved.

Isaiah McKenzie

After what he showed in the first preseason game, this is tough. Yes, he was fighting for more yards and tried to make something happen, but any fumble by a guy who has issues holding onto the ball is never good for confidence. The key is how McKenzie responds after such a strong start.

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