Photos of the Broncos in action against the Bears at Soldier Field in the preseason opener. (photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)
CHICAGO — The Broncos pulled off a 24-17 comeback win over the Bears in the 2017 preseason opener.
These were the defining moments of Thursday's game:
Harris opens his season in style
In his first game since being named a first-team All-Pro at the conclusion of the 2016 season, Chris Harris Jr. picked up where he left off.
On the Broncos' first defensive possession, Harris stepped behind an off-target Mike Glennon throw into triple coverage. Once Harris tracked the third-down pass, which was intended for tight end Zach Miller, he was off to the races.
For the first 20 to 30 yards of his return, Harris saw nothing but open space. As he approached the end zone, he dodged a would-be tackler and snuck in by the right pylon.
His recognizable "No-Fly Zone" celebration soon followed.
Jamal Carter makes a play
**In 12 of the previous 13 seasons, at least one college free agent has made the Broncos' opening day roster.
Safety Jamal Carter began to make his case Thursday that he should be the one to continue that trend.
Carter had six tackles on the evening, but his biggest play came on a botched snap that nearly went over Glennon's head.
After the football bounced off several players' hands, Carter was the one to secure the rock and give the offense great field position.
Putting up points
Trevor Siemian led the starting offense's only scoring drive of the evening with a 10-play, 5:33 series that covered 60 yards.
Aided by 34 penalty yards, Siemian pushed the Broncos to the Chicago 20-yard line before the drive stalled.
Brandon McManus came in for his first field goal attempt of the year to knock in a 38-yard try.
Just when it appeared the Broncos would leave Chicago with a loss, rookie Kyle Sloter found a wide-open Isaiah McKenzie for a 47-yard touchdown.
On third-and-17, the Bears lost track of McKenzie, who split two defenders and streaked down the middle of the field. Sloter stepped up in the pocket, located McKenzie and delivered the ball on target.
The score tied the game at 17-17, and after a defensive stop on the next possession, the Sloter-led offense got the ball back with a chance to win.
A Kalif Raymond punt return got the game-winning drive going.
He caught the ball at the 8-yard line and weaved his way for 34 yards to the 42-yard line. An unneccesary roughness penalty added another 15 yards for the Broncos, and the drive began at the Chicago 43-yard line.
Just a few plays later, rookie De'Angelo Henderson rumbled through an open lane for a 41-yard touchdown run that put the Broncos ahead for good.
The Broncos have other promotions here, in addition to following promotions available the day after the game:
- Papa John's is offering the "When the Broncos win, you win!" promotion, which gives fans 50 percent off regular menu price online orders the day after every Broncos win with promo code "Broncos"
- With two Broncos touchdowns, you score $1 roast beef sandwiches the day after a Broncos game at participating Arby’s.
- Download the McDonald's app for free Broncos gameday offers! Additionally, get a $1 Big Mac sandwich or Sausage McMuffin with Egg the day after every Broncos Game as well as 30 percent off any hat after every Broncos game at Denver Broncos Team Stores with the McDonald's key tag.
- Buffalo Wild Wings: If the Broncos make a field goal, you could win a free sharable at Buffalo Wild Wings!
- At participating Conoco stations, grab a free 12oz cup of coffee between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. the day after a Broncos win.
- At King Soopers, get a free raised or cake donut -- just swipe your SooperCard the day after a Broncos win.