DENVER -- On an afternoon when points are expected to be at a premium, credit the Chicago Bears special teams for turning in perhaps the most important play of the scoreless first half.
After the Broncos offense marched the ball 60 yards down the field midway through the second quarter, Denver kicker Matt Prater attempted what appeared to be a chip-shot 28-yard field goal. But the kick was blocked by Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, thwarting the best scoring opportunity for either team in the opening half.
When the Bears had the ball, Caleb Hanie and company had limited success moving the chains as they recorded just five first downs and 84 total yards of offense. Hanie finished the half 6-of-9 passing for 37 yards, while Marion Barber, starting in place of the injured Matt Forte, rushed for 46 yards on nine carries.
Because of the Bears’ inability to sustain a drive, Denver's offense, led by quarterback Tim Tebow, was on the field for 17:10. The Broncos held the Bears to 0-for-5 on third down.
Tebow didn't fare much better than Hanie, completing 3-of-13 for 45 yards and running for 27 yards.
On the injury front for Denver, veteran safety Brian Dawkins suffered a neck injury in the second quarter and is questionable to return.