FBG says: Bad matchup. The Broncos backfield was led by almost a dead-even split between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Lindsay saw one more carry and just four more snaps than Freeman, but Lindsay was the less effective back as he noticeably struggled with vision and burst through what were relatively tiny running lanes. Lindsay had just 14 yards going into halftime and simply never got the momentum going throughout that game. Freeman, on the other hand, looked much better as he averaged 5.6 yards per attempt and had an impressive 26-yard run. Rookie left guard Dalton Risner also had a great start to his NFL career as he played as the best lineman in that group alongside Todd Bolles, making for a strong left side. Broncos right tackle Ja'Wuan James exited last week's game after just 10 snaps with a knee injury though, so depending on his status, this unit could be downgraded overall as their right side was noticeably weaker without him.
The Bears run defense performed admirably in Week 1, holding the Packers to just 47 rushing yards with lead running back Aaron Jones averaging a meager 3.0 yards per carry. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman was constantly clogging lanes in the middle while Khalil Mack was his usual MVP-caliber self as he made plays all night. Alongside Goldman and Mack, Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris rotated throughout the night and both were disruptive forces against the run. While Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is no direct replacement for Adrian Amos, Clinton-Dix actually performed very well against the run as he was their top defensive back contributor. Where the Bears can improve will be the play from their linebackers, as neither Danny Trevathan nor Roquan Smith played up to their potential. With decent, but not spectacular, play from the Broncos offensive line, the Bears remain as a clear favorite in this matchup.