CHICAGO — The Bears tried to take away the Broncos' biggest receiving threat available to them, and in doing so, they opened up other opportunities for quarterback Brock Osweiler.
With Emmanuel Sanders out, Chicago tried to key on Demaryius Thomas by putting safety help on his side of the field. That removed a safety from a more central spot and opened up the middle of the field for the tight ends, who ended up being Osweiler's top two targets with Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels combining for 10 catches, 137 receiving yards and eight first downs.
The Broncos topped the Bears, 17-15 at Soldier Field. Here are the top shots of the game.
"Having [Sanders] down, I think they might have decided to try to take DT out of the game," Daniels said. "And when you do that, you can't take everyone out. If you're going to double-team DT and have a safety over the top of him at all times, there's going to be people open. So that's where the tight ends come into play, and other receivers come into play. I think DT deserves some credit for that."
But the Bears weren't even able take Thomas out of the game with two defenders. He had a 48-yard touchdown reception on the Broncos' opening drive, so Chicago had to key on him a bit more to limit his production.
With Davis' addition three weeks ago, the team has been working him into the rotation more and more each week, beginning with nine snaps against the Colts to 34 against Kansas City and 47 on Sunday against the Bears. As he gets more comfortable, the Broncos are able to work in two-tight end sets more extensively, which had been difficult with just Daniels and Virgil Green.
"We put our guys out there and we feel confident we can beat safeties and nickel guys and linebackers in the pass game," Daniels said, "so they'll want to put extra cover guys out there and smaller guys, and it's a mismatch for us running the ball."
Cody Latimer has one for the books
For two seasons, wide receiver Cody Latimer has been itching to get into an end zone.
On a chilly Chicago day, Latimer finally saw his had work come to fruition. With a 10-yard dart from quarterback Brock Osweiler, Latimer came down with the pass for his first touchdown in the league.
After the game, Latimer credited his chemistry with Osweiler for his performance after working together for over a year in practice.
"I mean it was just a good early start for us last week with me getting my first catches, him getting his first touchdown this year," Latimer said. "It's just exciting. We're still building and this is just the beginning."
Latimer saw his first catches of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs when the Broncos put in Osweiler for an injured Peyton Manning.
"It had just been a while since I caught a football in a game," Latimer said of the Chiefs game. "It's always good to get that first catch out of the way because now you're probably like 'I'm ready to go now. I'm confident the quarterback can get the ball there and I'm going to make the play.' So it's exciting."
With the Broncos' victory, you can take advantage of the following promotions:
- Papa John's is offering the "If the Broncos win, you win!" promotion, which gives fans in Colorado 50 percent off all orders the day after a Broncos win (home or away).
- McDonald's is offering fans in Colorado one-dollar Big Mac sandwiches or one-dollar sausage egg McMuffins on Monday and 30 percent off any jersey in the Broncos team store.