By S.C. Zuba
Last Sunday night (Aug. 30), the Chicago Bears traveled to Denver to take on former Bears starter Kyle Orton and the Denver Broncos for the third game of the preseason.
In a normal season, fans cannot wait for the preseason to be over so the real football can begin, but this season is anything but normal for the Bears. Last week in Denver, both sides had something to play for: pride.
The story was one similar to a Hollywood movie. After Josh McDaniels was hired as the Broncos’ head coach, he attempted to trade his Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to get back the quarterback he worked with while in New England, Matt Cassel.
When Cutler heard McDaniels had dangled him as trade bait, Cutler wanted out, and the rest is history. And, as fate would have it, these two teams would meet in the third week of the preseason.
The Bears got a chance to look at part of what they gave up for Cutler, Kyle Orton, and let’s just say I believe the Bears got the better end of this bargain.
When Cutler stepped onto the field at Invesco Field at Mile High, he was greeted with a warm welcome of boos from the same fans who adored him a little more than six months ago. Broncos fans were angry, and they were not quiet about their distaste for Cutler.
Cutler came out rather quiet as the team went three and out on their first series, but once he settled down, he looked like the Cutler the Bears had traded for. Orton, on the other hand, looked like the same Orton that was in Chicago—a calm, safe game manager.
Cutler played the first half of the game and was 15-21 for 144 yards with a touchdown. He also engineered a 98-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown pass to Matt Forte.
Orton left the game in second quarter with a hand injury, but was 12-17 for 96 yards.
The Bears won 27-17, and will return home at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3, to take on the Cleveland Browns in the final game of the preseason.
Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the September 2-8, 2009 issue