The Chicago Bears travel to Denver for a meeting with the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. As is always the case in the preseason, both teams hope to stay healthy, especially now as starters begin to get more work in Week 2 of the preseason. Next week is when the first-string will get the most work of all the preseason. Don’t expect much in the final week of the preseason, with starters getting one series at most.
Decisions on cuts are just about made by the final game. That’s probably the trickiest week to bet on preseason football. I believe there is some college football on that Thursday, so you don’t have to bet on the preseason if you’re looking for football to bet on then. College games are plentiful every week, with a sizable sample size of action to handicap, so that aspect alone, makes college football filled with many opportunities.
But back to the NFL and the Bears and Broncos preseason matchup Saturday night. All the attention has been on John Elway and action off the field recently. Elway said that Kaepernick had a chance to join the Broncos but he passed it up. That set off some controversy in the public, which I’m not going to get into too much.
Elway should be focused on finding a backup for Case Keenum. Paxton Lynch is currently listed as the backup, but are is days numbered with Chad Kelly making a push? Lynch looked awful last season when he got to replace Siemian. He hasn’t shown any signs of improvement in the preseason thus far, and reports out of camps say he doesn’t look good. The guy just doesn’t look comfortable in an NFL pocket.
It feels like he doesn’t know what he should be doing with the ball. A lot of hesitation and doubt in his play. Kelly came in to clean up Lynch’s mess last week and just about led the Broncos back against the Vikings. He also made a bad decision late and threw an easy interception, though. I don’t think Kelly is ready to be a backup in the NFL, but we’ll see how the rest of the preseason transpires. The Bears dropped a 30-27 decision to the Bengals on the road last week. This will be their third preseason game because of the Hall of Fame Game they played in. Get our free Bears vs. Broncos pick below.
Chicago Bears vs. Denver Broncos NFL Preseason Betting Odds:
vs. Broncos -3.5(-105)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Bears vs. Broncos Pick:
Keenum is slated to be the starting quarterback for the Broncos in 2018. After a productive year as a starter in Minnesota, Keenum was bounced out of town in favor of Kirk Cousins. You can’t blame the Vikings for wanting to swap Keenum for Cousins. An opportunity like that isn’t going to come around often. Keenum is a good situation with a quality defense in Denver, though.
He had a defense in Minnesota, and is fortunate enough to go to a team with a stout defensive unit. The Broncos haven’t had a quarterback since Peyton Manning was the leader in Denver. Manning was not playing at an elite level in his final year, the Broncos’ defense was just that good. Keenum isn’t going to have that defensive unit, but they still should be really good.
Lynch got some snaps to prove that he belongs in the NFL last week. It didn’t go well for him, as he looked lost again. He ultimately passed for 24 yards and 1 interception on 6-of-11 passing. Kelly went in to pass for 177 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception on 14-of-21 passing. He at least looked fine in the pocket and showed control of the offense, unlike Lynch.
If he doesn’t show something quick, his time may be running up in the NFL. This is a big start for Lynch, who may hear the boo birds if he looks like he did last week. Lynch will likely be up against veteran Chase Daniel. As a preseason quarterback, I don’t have many bad things to say about him. Playing in the preseason has been his career for the last decade.
Daniel passed for 76 yards with an interception on 8-of-12 passing. That’s not ideal but he has shown the ability to run an NFL offense. Third stringer, Tyler Brady, benefits from playing in the same offense he did under Matt Nagy in Kansas City. Even though Kelly looked adequate last week, I feel uncomfortable laying points on a quarterback combo of Paxton Lynch and an inexperienced Chad Kelly. Daniel and Bray also have an extra game and week of practice going into this one. I’d take the points and expect a 3-point final.