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Cover 4: Broncos fall short in 16-14 loss to Bears

DENVER — Joe Flacco found Courtland Sutton on a pair of fourth-down conversions on the Broncos' final drive of regulation, and then hit Emmanuel Sanders in the end zone for a touchdown with 31 seconds to play.

Head Coach Vic Fangio then elected to go for the two-point conversion, and Flacco found Sanders again to secure a 14-13 lead.

But the Bears managed to drive into field-goal range with just 31 seconds left on the clock, and Eddy Pineiro made a 53-yarder as time expired to win the game.

Game-changing moment

It appeared like Flacco's fourth-down conversions, touchdown throw and two-point conversion would deserve the honors here, but a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Bradley Chubb and a 25-yard pass from Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson put the Bears in field-goal range, and there would be no miracle win for the Broncos.

Defining statistic


Just like it did against the Raiders in Week 1, the Broncos' offense made several big plays Sunday to push the ball down the field. Repeatedly, though, the unit failed to stay on the field. The Broncos converted just three third downs on the afternoon, and Joe Flacco and Co. weren't helped by the long distances they faced. Denver's best third-down conversion — a 19-yard catch and run by Phillip Lindsay — earned the Broncos zero points, as they weren't able to push the ball past the Chicago 47-yard line. Though the Broncos trailed by only a single possession for most of the game, they weren't able to get the third-down conversions they needed to close the gap.

Memorable highlight

Flacco's touchdown throw to Emmanuel Sanders was a thing of beauty. Sanders caught the ball in the corner of the end zone to give the Broncos the touchdown they needed. A moment later, Sanders added the two-point conversion.

Top performers

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders led all receivers with 11 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Safety Justin Simmons led the Broncos in both tackles (9) and passes defensed (2).

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