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Brock Osweiler's steady play leads Broncos over Bears

On his 25th birthday, Brock Osweiler helped lead the Denver Broncos (8-2) to a 17-15 win over the Chicago Bears (4-6) in his first career start. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Brock Osweiler ran Gary Kubiak's offense. There was nothing spectacular about the 6-foot-8 passer's play, but he didn't make mistakes and moved the offense. Most of his 250 yards passing (20 of 27, two TDs) came on short crossing routes and quick first reads. The Broncos didn't ask him to take shots down the field in his first career start. He ran Kubiak's preferred offense from under center for the majority of the contest and displayed the ability to utilize the bootleg. Osweiler struggled when his first read was taken away -- he tends to panic in those situations -- taking five sacks. He displayed a strong arm when needed, especially in the red zone, but needs work on his touch. It was the first game Denver hadn't thrown an interception in this season. Still, I don't believe Osweiler did enough Sunday to keep Peyton Manning from returning to the lineup when/if he's healthy.
  1. Denver's defensive front stymied Bears running back Jeremy Langford, who was coming off two big games. The rookie couldn't get through the first level clean enough to gain chunk yardage, earning just 25 yards on 13 carries. He was stuffed on a two-point try that would have tied the game on the final drive. Langford also couldn't get loose in the pass game. Brandon Marshall was his worst nightmare. Ka'Deem Carey showed some burst early and out-carried Langford before leaving the game with a concussion.
  1. With Osweiler operating under center, the Broncos rush attack got on track. Both Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson gashed the Bears defense on the stretch run, a staple of Kubiak's offense. Hillman led the way with 102 yards on 21 carries and Anderson added 12 for 59. The 33 rushing attempts by tailbacks are what the coaching staff had in mind entering the season.
  1. The Bears missed Alshon Jeffery, badly. The wideout's absence was especially noticeable in the red zone. Jay Cutler had a few chunk throws to Marquess Wilson behind Denver's secondary, but the Bears bogged down in the red zone. Cutler also threw his first terrible interception in weeks, forcing a pass to a blanketed Wilson.
  1. Chicago's offensive line actually did a pretty decent job pass blocking much of the day against a good Broncos front. Late in the fourth quarter, however, Von Miller finally got edge pressure and knocked the ball out of Cutler's hand on a strip sack. The Broncos' pass rush clearly misses DeMarcus Ware.
  1. Vernon Davis had his best game in a Broncos jersey, catching all six targets for 68 yards. Tight ends are a big part of Kubiak's offense, so this could be a sign of things to come for Davis. Osweiler targeted tight ends 12 times in his 27 pass attempts -- 146 total yards.
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