It wasn't all good news for the 2-1 Bears in Sunday night's victory over the winless Broncos.
The first-team defense held the Broncos’ starters to just 3 first-half points. But Denver’s 61-yard TD drive in the third quarter, with most of the Bears’ starters still on the field, didn’t sit too well with Lovie Smith.
It probably had something to do with the fact that the drive was led by rookie QB Tom Brandstater, a sixth-round draft pick from Fresno State. Brandstater came on in relief after starter Kyle Orton suffered an injury to his right index finger and because No. 2 QB Chris Simms was sitting out with a sprained ankle.
The Broncos even overcame their own mistakes on that drive, a false start penalty to start the possession and a holding penalty later on that was offset by a roughing-the-passer penalty on Alex Brown. More salt in the wound? How about the Broncos converting a third-and-11 with a 16-yard pass from Brandstater to Brandon Lloyd, who played his way out of Chicago last year.
"I like the way we played in the first half," Smith said. "But not with the way the defense started out the second half. We can't give up that drive. We were playing too well to let that happen.”