The Denver Broncos secured their first win of the 2023 NFL season in Week 4, defeating the Chicago Bears 31-28 in a closely contested game. The Broncos were led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who had an impressive performance. He completed 21 of 28 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns. On the defensive side, Bears linebacker TJ Edwards was the standout performer, with eight total tackles and seven solo tackles. However, the game was not without its overreactions, and here are a few of them.
The Broncos' Win in Week 4
The Denver Broncos secured their first win of the season in a closely contested game. The Broncos were coming off a 70-20 blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins, which was the franchise's second-worst loss of the Super Bowl era. The Bears, on the other hand, were still searching for their first win of the season and had lost their previous 13 games.
The Bears started the game strongly, taking a 21-7 lead in the first half. They even entered the final period with a 28-14 advantage. However, the Broncos fought back and outscored the home team, 17-0 in the fourth quarter. Aside from Wilson, other Broncos stepped up. Backup RB Jaleel McLaughlin led Denver's run game, while wideouts Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims Jr combined for 99 receiving yards. Kareem Jackson also had a key interception on Bears QB Justin Fields.
MARVIN. MIMS. JR. 😤
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 1, 2023
Here we will look at a few overreactions to the Denver Broncos' Week 4 win over the Chicago Bears, including how Russell Wilson is back.
Russell Wilson Is Not Washed Up
Broncos star QB Russell Wilson continues to shine as a football superstar. In their recent win over the Bears, Wilson completed 21 of 28 passes for 223 yards, throwing three impressive touchdowns. Wilson's performance included an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jaleel McLaughlin,
sparking the scoring. Although Chicago initially responded with four unanswered touchdowns, Wilson bridged the gap to 28-14 with a four-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Johnson. In the fourth quarter, the veteran quarterback added a 13-yard touchdown to Courtland Sutton. This led to a tied score following a defensive play by Denver, a crucial field goal, and a decisive Justin Fields interception.
With this first win under coach Sean Payton, Wilson and the Broncos look forward to gaining momentum heading into their Week 5 home game against the New York Jets. Payton's arrival has undoubtedly boosted Wilson's performance, evident by his impressive 9:2 TD:INT ratio in the first four games of the 2023 season. That's in contrast to a less favorable 16:11 ratio in his debut season with the Broncos.
Recall that in 2022, it took Russell Wilson 12 games to achieve nine touchdown passes under Nathaniel Hackett's offense. This year, under Payton's guidance, Wilson has already thrown nine touchdowns in just four games. Wilson's exceptional performance underscores that he is not the problem and is far from washed up. Payton has expertly tailored the offense to maximize Wilson's strengths, and Sunday's game served as a reminder of his capability to lead the team to victory. His efficiency and effectiveness were particularly evident during the team's second-half comeback. No matter how you assess it, Russell Wilson is unquestionably earning his keep in 2023.
Jaleel McLaughlin Takes the RB1 Role
Payton made a promise a few weeks ago to increase the playing time for undrafted rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin. Payton delivered on that during Sunday's game, as McLaughlin received the majority of snaps at running back. This was even before erstwhile RB1 Javonte Williams exited the game with a hip injury. McLaughlin's performance resulted in 104 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on just 10 touches. Even if Williams returns soon, it's evident that McLaughlin will continue to play a significant role in the offense.
McLaughlin just stepped up admirably. He was a bright spot on an offense that faced challenges throughout the game. McLaughlin played with unwavering determination and passion. He demonstrated both toughness and elusiveness when he scored on a screen pass during the Broncos' opening possession.
Nik Bonitto's Rise as a Defensive Player of the Year Candidate
When the Broncos selected Nik Bonitto in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft, they were envisioning performances like the one witnessed in Week 4. Bonitto's latest showing was the culmination of over a season of hard work. He recorded 2.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, and a forced fumble that resulted in a game-tying touchdown with 6:55 left.
Bonitto has transformed into a completely different player in his second season. He has bulked up, gained strength, and expanded his repertoire of pass-rushing moves.
In hindsight, choosing to start Bonitto over Gregory was undoubtedly the right decision. While Gregory's signing may appear disappointing, it is reassuring to see Bonitto stepping up to fill the void. In fact, he emerged as the Most Valuable Player on the defense, which managed to stave off the Bears' late-game scoring attempts.
Vance Joseph Commands The D
Vance Joseph desperately needed the second-half performance witnessed in the recent game. Despite yielding yards, the defense began to rack up sacks and turnovers, with two game-changing plays. The first was a strip-sack on Justin Fields, resulting in a touchdown, and the second was a game-sealing interception.
Before this game, Joseph surely did not be the ideal candidate to lead the Denver defense. However, that second-half display certainly bought him another week in his job.
In conclusion, the Denver Broncos' recent victory over the Chicago Bears showcased a series of promising developments. Russell Wilson's resurgence, Jaleel McLaughlin's emergence as a potent running back, Nik Bonitto's transformation into a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and Vance Joseph's ability to rally the defense in crucial moments are all significant factors that bode well for the team's future. As the Broncos continue to build on these positive trends, fans can anticipate an exciting and competitive season ahead. With key players and coaches finding their stride, the team appears poised for success in the games to come. This has left fans eager to see how this promising season unfolds.