In what will go down as one of the wildest finishes in Chicago Bears history, Matt Nagy’s team escaped Denver with a 16-14 win over the Broncos. Kicker Eddy Piniero connected on a 53-yard field goal as time expired to prevent the Bears from starting the season 0-2.
The win saves the Bears from what would have been one of the worst meltdowns in team history.
At the start of the fourth quarter, it appeared that the Bears were on the way to their first win of 2019 leading the Broncos 13-3. What followed would be three Denver offensive possessions that would lead to a field goal, an interception, and a touchdown paired with a two-point conversion for the lead at 14-13.
To win, Chicago would need their quarterback and most scrutinized player in Mitchell Trubisky to get the offense into field goal territory. On a fourth and 15, Trubisky stepped up and completed a 25-yard pass to receiver Allen Robinson over the middle with just one second left in the game. It set up Piniero’s game-winning kick as he connected on all three of his field-goal attempts on the day.
The win saved the head coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky, and the Bears defense from massive criticism from the media and the fans. Nagy continued to have issues with developing an effective game plan. Trubisky struggled again to connect with open receivers or make the right read. It was the defense’s meltdown in the fourth quarter that would have been the most concerning take away from the potential loss.
The famed Denver “Mile High Altitude” was on display as a majority of the Bears defensive starters looked fatigued due to the heat and thin air. Bears All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack was on the sideline several times during the Broncos offensive drives in the quarter. Even after a Kyle Fuller goal-line interception to stop a game-tying score, Denver’s offense still managed to take the lead late with less than minute remaining.
In the end, the biggest talking point about the Bears’ win Sunday will be Piniero’s game-winning kick. Fans and the media still deserve to question Nagy’s playcalling and Trubisky’s effectiveness, but it should be on a lighter tone because the team won. The embattled quarterback made the big throw to put his team in a position to win the game.
The win also keeps the championship hopes alive for a team that was picked by many to contend for a Super Bowl title. Chicago can now breathe easy until next Monday night when they go on the road to play the Washington Redskins. There are some negatives from Sunday’s win, but the main takeaway is the Bears came through in the clutch and avoided historic disaster.