Q3 – 15:00: Bears receive the kick to start the second half. From one yard deep in the end zone, Wolfe takes it out to the 20-yard line before being stopped by Spencer Larsen. Bears long snapper Darrell McClover is called for holding, backing his team up to their own 6-yard line.
Q3 – 14:36: Caleb Hanie in at quarterback for the Bears. His first pass is good but for no gain to Aromashodu. Kevin Joens carries for one yard, before being stopped by Andre’ Goodman. Facing a 3rd and 5, the Bears run with Wolfe, but D.J. Williams and Kenny Peterson combine to stop him just short of the marker. Brad Maynard is in to punt.
Q3 – 12:37: Alphonso Smith takes the punt for a 1-yard return to his own 37-yard line. Tom Brandstater will start the second half at quarterback, with the rest of the first-team offense. Eddie Royal and Chad Jackson are at wide receiver while Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are in at tight end. Peyton Hillis runs forward for two yards, setting up a 2nd and 8 from the 39-yard line.
Q3 – 11:52: Hillis runs forward for another pair, setting up 3rd and 6 from the Broncos 41-yard line. Out of the shotgun, Brandstater fakes to Hillis, but comes up short on the bubble screen to Royal. Colquitt is in to punt, looking to replicate his 46-yard first-half gem that pinned the Bears at their own 2-yard line.
Q3 – 11:14: Colquitt’s mission is a success. He pins the Bears at their own 1-yard line. Hanie and the Bears will start from there after the 58-yard punt. INJURY UPDATE – Josh Barrett has an injury to an upper extremity, and his return is questionable.
Q3 – 11:09: Facing pressure from Mario Haggan, Hanie is rushed in the end zone for an incomplete on first down. Jones runs up the gut for five yards, before being stopped by Ryan McBean. On 3rd and 5 from their own 6-yard line, Hanie appeared to have a first down with Brandon Rideau. But Brian Dawkins delivered a vicious hit to the backside to jar the ball loose. Maynard is in for a quick second punt of the half.
Q3 – 10:13: Maynard’s 41-yard punt gets another 10 yards tacked on after Andre’ Goodman is charged with an illegal block in the back penalty. Brandstater and the Broncos will start at their own 39-yard line.
Q3 – 10:13: Opening up in a two-tight end set, Casey Wiegmann is whistled for a false start, backing his team up to the 34-yard line. Out of the I-formation, Correll Buckhalter erases the pre-snap miscue, bursting forward off a pitch out for 21 yards behind a big block from Peyton Hillis – 1st and 10 Broncos at the Bears 45-yard line.
Q3 – 9:15: In a mirror image, Hillis follows a big block from Daniel Graham, rumbling 17 yards down the right side for another first down. Buckhalter takes the carry from the 28, picking up four yards up the gut on first down. Ryan Clady is whistled for holding on the next play, backing the Broncos up into a 2nd and 16 from their own 34-yard line.
Q3 – 7:55: With four wide on his side, Brandstater finds Graham open in the flat. He is aided by a roughing the passer call on Bears lineman Alex Brown, pushing the gain to 18 yards. The result is a first and 10 for the Broncos from their own 16-yard line.
Q3 – 7:31: Brandstater rolls right on first down, but fires short for Royal. Buckhalter takes the pitch right on second down, but finds little running room in the presence of Lance Briggs. After the one yard loss, Brandstater finds comfort in the shotgun, slinging a ball 16 yards to Brandon Lloyd at the edge of the goal line. First and goal Broncos from the 1-yard line.
Q3 – 5:55: Hillis looks to punch it in, but Brian Urlacher stops him. Hillis recovers on the next play, finding the end zone from two yards out. Prater’s extra point is good: Bears 17, Broncos 10.
Q3 – 5:21: Prater helps the Broncos’ field position game with a touchback. Hanie and the Bears start from their own 20-yard line, but are backed up immediately by a false start penalty on Kevin Shaffer. Wolfe gets back the five yards, and Hanie completes to Rideau for one yard, setting up 3rd and 6 from the Bears’ own 24-yard line. Alphonso Smith wins the 1-on-1 battle with Derek Kinder, breaking up the pass, and forcing another Maynard punt.
Q3 – 4:05: Smith follows up his sound play on defense with another strong effort on special teams. He returns Maynard’s punt for 16 yards, setting the Broncos up with favorable field position at their own 44-yard line.
Q3 – 3:54: In I-form behind Hillis, Buckhalter runs out of room and is stopped for no gain. Brandstater’s pass to Royal sails off the hands of Royal and into the hands of Bears linebacker Marcus Freeman. The Bears take over at midfield.
Q3 – 3:06: Hanie escapes the rush of Nic Clemons, fleeing the pocket for a two-yard gain out of bounds. Wolfe takes the carry on second down and picks up four before being stopped by rookie Darcel McBath. Out of the shotgun, Hanie finds Wolfe in the flat, but a quick read by rookie David Bruton keeps the Bears from moving the chains. Maynard is in to punt.
Q3 – 1:19: The veteran recovers on the high snap, settling for a 19-yard punt that puts the Broncos at their own 24-yard line.
Q3 – 1:00: Darius Walker gets his first reps of the night, stringing gains of seven and six yards to give the Broncos a first down at their own 37-yard line.
Q3 – 0:22: Brandstater closes out the third quarter on a smooth rollout to Richard Quinn. The rookie connection goes for 16 yards and puts the Broncos in Bears territory at the 46-yard line. That’s where Denver will start the fourth quarter, trailing Chicago, 17-10.
START OF THE FOURTH QUARTER-
Q4 – 15:00: Brandstater starts the fourth out of the shotgun, working a draw play with Walker for three yards. He finds Kenny McKinley in the flat for seven yards and another first down.
Q4 – 13:37: As the lone setback, Walker bursts up the gut for three yards. That run balloons by 15 yards after Bears lineman Mark Anderson is called for unnecessary roughness. The Broncos are in the red zone at the Bears 19-yard line.
Q4 – 13:11: Brandstater finds McKinley for the catch, as he maintains possession while tightrope walking the sideline. The officials call the pass incomplete, but Head Coach Josh McDaniels throws the red flag for a challenge. The Broncos have all three timeouts in their pocket. This is McDaniels’ second challenge of the game, after losing one late in the first half on a Bears touchdown pass to Matt Forte.
Q4 – 13:11(2): Referee Ed Hochuli upholds the ruling, stating that McKinley’s left foot was out of bounds. The Broncos are charged with their first timeout of the second half.
Q4 – 13:06: Walker loses the exchange with Brandstater, and the fumble is recovered by Bears defensive tackle Matt Toeaina. The red-zone opportunity is squandered, and the Bears take over at their own 16-yard line.
Q4 – 12:00: Peterson carries up the gut for seven yards. After being stopped by Clemons for no gain, Johnny Knox breaks by Smith on a deep route. Hanie puts the ball over Knox’s outside shoulder and completes the pass for 43 yards, giving the Bears a 1st and 10 at the Broncos’ 29-yard line.
Q4 – 10:49: After an incomplete pass from Hanie, Peterson rumbles 29 yards on two carries, capped by a 12-yard run off right guard for a Bears touchdown. Gould’s extra point is good: Bears 24, Broncos 10.
Q4 – 10:42: Matthew Willis returns the kickoff for 23 yards. Matt McChesney is whistled for holding, backing the Broncos up to their own 12-yard line.
Q4 – 10:31: Brandstater finds Walker on a screen pass for no gain. Out of the shotgun, Walker takes the draw up the middle, finding five yards of running room to set up a 3rd and 5 at the 17-yard line. Lining up trips right, Brandstater finds McKinley on the left side for 15 yards and a first down.
Q4 – 9:09: Working play action with Walker, Brandstater dupes the defense to find McKinley wide open down the middle of the field. The catch is good for 54 yards and sets up a 1st and 10 for the Broncos from the Bears’ 14-yard line.
Q4 – 7:26: Walker works the middle of the Bears’ defense, putting together an eight-yard run and three-yard run to set up first-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
Q4 – 6:40: Walker works off left guard but is stopped at the goal line. He runs up the middle on second down but is again stopped at the 1-yard line. Working out of the I, Walker uses a good low block from Kory Lichtensteiger to scamper into the end zone for the touchdown. Prater’s extra point is good: Bears 24, Broncos 17. Thanks to the big Brandstater-McKinley connection, the Broncos needed less than four minutes to slice the deficit back to one possession.
Q4 – 5:42: Prater’s kickoff pins Knox four yards deep in the end zone, and a strong ankle tackle from Willis puts the Bears starting at their own 10-yard line.
Q4 – 5:13: In at quarterback for the Bears is Brett Basanez and he erases the long field quickly, finding Juaquin Iglesias for a 25-yard completion and a first down.
Q4 – 4:02: A three-yard run and eight-yard run by Peterson propels the Bears to another first down at their own 46-yard line.
Q4 – 2:58: After a strong stop by Matthias Askew on first down, Basanez finds tight end Michael Gaines for a 26-yard completion over the middle of the field. Wesley Woodyard pulls him down for the stop.
Q4 – 2:01: Peterson runs downhill for five yards, putting the Bears in a 2nd and 5 at the Broncos’ 22-yard line. The two-minute warning is upon us, with the Broncos trailing, 24-17.
Q4 – 1:49: Out of the break, Peterson runs forward for eight yards. The Bears are in the red zone at the 14-yard line, and the Broncos spend their second timeout.
Q4 – 1:41: Peterson and the Bears continue to milk the clock, as he barrels forward for three yards before being stopped by Clemons. The Broncos use their final timeout, with the Bears facing 2nd and 7 from the 11-yard line.
Q4 – 1:30: Larsen and Chris Baker stop Peterson for one yard, setting up third down from the 10. Clemons stops Peterson short of the marker, setting up 4th and 3 from the 7-yard line. The Bears take their first timeout, with 14 seconds remaining in the game.
Q4 – 0:10: Gould comes in to attempt a 25-yard field goal and tacks on another three points: Bears 27, Broncos 17.
Q4 – 0:00: Willis returns the kickoff to the 21-yard line. Brandstater comes in for the final play. He completes a quick out to Kenny McKinley on the final play. That will do it from Denver. The final score: Bears 27, Broncos 17. Thanks for following our blog, and visit denverbroncos.com for plenty of postgame coverage.