What history tells us about Broncos and Bears
Kay Biggerstaff - USA Today Sports

What history tells us about Broncos and Bears

by - Senior Writer -

For the second consecutive week, the Chicago Bears are not only facing an unfamiliar opponent but one that hails from the AFC West in, the Denver Broncos. One of the more successful AFC franchises, especially during the late 1990s and middle 2010s, the Broncos are in a similar position to that of the Bears as they also come into this matchup sitting at 0-3 and in desperate need of a win.

Something has to give this weekend, as the winner will still have a glimmer of hope left to make the playoffs while the loser is all but eliminated when you look at the history of this game. Speaking of history, these teams have not met since 1971 and have played 16 total times during the years. When you look at the overall results, this series has been as even as it possibly can be, as the teams have played to an 8-8 record so far.

Ironically, most of the success for either team came during the 1970s and 1980s, but it was the Broncos who not only won the first-ever meeting 6-3 in 1971 but also went on to win three of the first four as their defense set the tone in all three of their wins. Once the year 1981 arrived, it was all Bears for the next four seasons as they went on to win all three of those meetings, averaging 30 points per contest on offense and allowing 16. That includes a 27-0 win in 1984, as the Bears now led the series 4-3 at this point.

Like in the 70s, when these teams first met, it was all Broncos for the next 10 years as they once again put together a run of three wins in four games to seize control of the series again. The lone loss during that stretch came in 1990 when the Bears edged out a hard-fought 16-13 defensive struggle.

Moving to the new millennium, you will see that these teams have played some challenging games and have been as evenly matched as possible, with the Bears going 3-2 in their last five meetings against the Broncos. That includes their 19-10 win in 2003 when the Bears somehow won with only 217 yards of offense and their 2007 matchup that saw the Bears pull off an impressive 37-34 overtime victory. Jay Cutler torched his former team in that came, tossing for 302 yards and a pair of scores.

Speaking of overtime time games, the Broncos got back on the winning track in both 2011 and 2015 when they took down the Bears 13-10 in OT during 2011 and followed that up with a 17-15 win to take the series lead. The last time these teams met came in 2019, and it was once again another low-scoring affair that saw the Bears emerge victorious 16-14. That was the year after the Bears won the NFC North, as Matt Nagy had that great defense to rely on.

As we look toward this game on Sunday, one thing to note is just how close and low-scoring some games have been in the past. Both teams are known for having tough defenses, and with both offenses struggling to move the ball, it could be another low-scoring affair yet again. This game will also be played in Soldier Field, as the Denver Air isn't something the Bears will have to worry about this week.

This will be the eighth time these teams have met in this series at Soldier Field, and it is the Bears holding the narrow 4-3 edge in the previous seven games. Denver won the last time out in 2015 when a game was played here, and it hasn't been since 2007 that Chicago has knocked off the Broncos at home. You could say this team is due for a win, but in their defense, they don't see the Broncos often, as week four is crucial for both teams.

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