The Chicago Bears looked like they were heading to an 0-2 record, but Eddy Piñeiro saved the day with a game-winning field goal at the horn to give the Bears a 16-14 victory.
After the Broncos took the lead with 31 seconds left, the Bears managed to get the ball into field goal range on a Mitchell Trubisky toss to Allen Robinson. The Bears called timeout with one second remaining, and Piñeiro nailed a field goal with no time left on the clock to give the Bears their first win of the season.
Unlike their first game, the Bears were dedicated to the running game early and often, throwing former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for a bit of a loop. While the scheme didn’t yield immediate dividends, it did allow the Bears to have one of their first sustained drives of the season in the first quarter.
The Bears’ defense also continued its strong play, mixing fronts and rushes to throw Joe Flacco and company off balance. Brandon McManus did make a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter, giving Denver a 3-0 lead that held through the first 15 minutes of play.
In the second quarter the Bears got to within field goal range, but they were stopped just inside the red zone early in the frame and were forced to settle for a 40-yard field goal from Eddy Piñeiro, tying things up at 3-3.
With a little more than five minutes to go in the half, the Bears were able to edge in front as Pineiro made another field goal, this one a 52-yarder that followed a 10-play, 56-yard drive. That field goal gave the Bears a 6-3 lead, which they held until the half.
Continuing to run the ball, the Bears put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive late in the third quarter that featured long runs from Cordarrelle Patterson, who reeled off a 46-yard run, and Taylor Gabriel, who got the team within striking distance.
After a Denver penalty, the Bears were finally able to break through as David Montgomery barely reached the nose of the football over the goal line to put the Bears in front 13-3 with a minute to play in the third quarter.
With the Broncos knocking on the door in the fourth quarter, the Bears' defense needed a stop and finally got one thanks to their secondary. After Joe Flacco's pass was apparently tipped by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, cornerback Kyle Fuller picked it off, giving the Bears back the ball and preventing the Broncos from a potential game-tying score.
In the closing minutes, the Broncos had a pair of fourth down situations to face down, and they converted on both thanks to a pair of remarkable catches from Courtland Sutton.
On first-and-goal, Flacco lofted a perfect ball to Emmanuel Sanders, and he hauled in the catch for a touchdown to bring the Broncos within a point with 31 seconds remaining.
Stunningly, the Broncos decided to go for two, and were flagged for a delay of game penalty. Instead they opted for the extra point, and Brandon McManus missed the kick. Buster Skrine was called for an offsides penalty, and the Broncos then went back to the two-point try.
This time Flacco did snap the ball and found Sanders for the conversion, giving the Broncos a 14-13 lead.
On their final drive, the Bears were given a controversial penalty after the Broncos were flagged for roughing Trubisky, and then were the beneficiaries of another call as Robinson made a catch over the middle of the field and called timeout with just one second remaining.
Piñeiro then booted through a 53-yard field goal, his third of the day, to give the Bears a 16-14 victory.
The Bears will next be in action on Monday Night Football in Week 3 when they take on the Washington Redskins.