Preseason games don’t mean anything at all--if you don’t believe me, the Lions went 4-0 in the preseason last year before going 0-16 in the regular season--but this game will be a very interesting one.
Date: Sunday, Aug. 30
Time: 8 p.m. eastern time (6:00 local time)
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo.
Point Spread: Denver -2.5 (via DocSports’ NFL odds)
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As you probably already know, Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton were traded for each other. Broncos fans are angry at Cutler for refusing to do anything unless he was traded. I can see why fans would hate Cutler, and I believe they did get the worse side of the trade.
Some might argue that Denver got the better side of the trade because of the draft picks. You have to remember, though, that just because a team has high draft picks and uses them for good college players doesn’t mean they will amount to anything in the NFL.
The No. 1 reason to watch this game is to see the quarterback battle. I am positive each quarterback will want to play better, command the game better, and perform better than the other.
These quarterbacks will play like it's the Super Bowl, and it should be a great battle to watch.
Orton has the chance to make the Bears regret trading him away, but I don’t see him having a great day to change anyone's mind. I liked Orton, but I didn’t see the Bears winning anything with him at quarterback.
Cutler will have to win Bears fans over during the course of the season, a process which he has already begun in earnest. This game is a great venue to continue doing so. If Cutler does well, the fans will continue to develop their love for him. If he doesn't, well, it’s only the preseason, but you never want to do anything that might make the fans anxious or angry.
Be prepared to hear lots and lots of booing at Invesco Field, where Cutler used to play his home games. I expect to hear the fans boo every time Cutler is on the field until he steps off--that's how much the fans there now despise Cutler.
Even Cutler expects to be hated endlessly.
This game should feel somewhat like a regular season game, at least until the starters leave. Up through that point, this game should be very enjoyable. The quarterbacks have things to prove, and the tension between the fans and players will give this game a regular season feel.
Overall, the first half will be a fun time for football fans. It will be a break from the boring and really long football preseason--I'm a fan of only two preseason games and adding more games to the regular season, for the record.
While this game logically doesn’t mean anything, it actually does. Coaches and players won’t tell you that it does, but I think it does.
Orton and Cutler are both thinking in their head: "I have to do better than the other guy," and that alone should make the game exciting.
The idea that Bears switch week-to-week between loving and hating their starting quarterback is wrong, but you have to realize that Chicago has never had a franchise quarterback. No matter who they have tried, it's just never happened. So when they get somebody who has the best chance to become a franchise quarterback, the highs and the lows have the potential to be more extreme.
On Sunday night, Jay Cutler has one more chance to get Bears fans believing before the regular season starts. The fact that he will do so in front of his angry former supporters makes it all the more intriguing.
Whether you're a Bears fan, a Broncos fan, or just an NFL fan in general, this game should appeal to you. So everybody tune in to the game on Sunday.
You won’t be let down.