CHICAGO -- — The Denver Broncos came in reeling from a 50-point blowout and looked like they were headed toward another lopsided loss.
Russell Wilson sensed a rally was on the way.
“I knew how we left the locker room at halftime and how we stepped on the field in the second half that we were gonna fight our way back,” he said.
Wilson threw for three touchdowns, Wil Lutz kicked a tiebreaking field goal with just under two minutes remaining and the Broncos bounced back from one of the most lopsided losses in franchise history by rallying to beat the Chicago Bears 31-28 on Sunday.
Denver (1-3) was coming off a 70-20 blowout by Miami that was the franchise’s second-worst loss of the Super Bowl era, behind only a 51-0 pounding by the Raiders in 1967.
Lutz's 51-yarder capped a comeback from a 28-7, third-quarter deficit. Kareem Jackson then intercepted Justin Fields with the Bears (0-4) near midfield, and coach Sean Payton picked up his first win with Denver.
“Everybody just believed,” Wilson said. “It was a beautiful demonstration of resilience."
Chicago looked like it was headed toward an easy win, leading by 21 after Fields threw a 2-yard touchdown to Khalil Herbert late in the third quarter. Instead, the Bears dropped their 14th in a row since a Week 7 win at New England last season.
The Bears had a chance to break a 28-all tie late in the fourth quarter. Chicago opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the 18 rather than kick a field goal. Coach Matt Eberflus was confident the Bears would get the first down because of how effectively they were running the ball. But instead of keeping the drive going, Herbert got stopped.
Fields said he “loved” the decision to go for it. After all, he said, it showed “Coach has trust in us to convert in that situation.”
Fields threw for a career-high 335 yards and four touchdowns. He completed his first 16 passes and was 28 of 35.
“I think we were in a rhythm, (offensive coordinator) Luke (Getsy) was dialing it up," Fields said. "Guys were protecting up front. Receivers were getting open. We were definitely in a rhythm. At the end of the day, we lost the game so it really doesn’t matter.”
The Bears then had the ball near midfield when Nik Bonitto strip-sacked Fields. Jonathan Cooper recovered the fumble at the 35 and returned it for the tying touchdown.
Wilson hit Marvin Mims Jr. with a 48-yard pass to the 33 on the next play. The Broncos took the lead when Lutz kicked his field goal with 1:51 remaining, and Jackson sealed it when he picked off a pass intended for Cole Kmet. Fans showered the Bears with boos as the game ended.
Wilson threw for 223 yards. The nine-time Pro Bowler completed 21 of 28 passes.
“I don't think he blinked once,” Cooper said. “Everybody kept their composure. Everybody stuck together, kept fighting, and that's what a team does.”
Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 72 yards and caught a touchdown pass for Denver.
“There'll be some tough tape tomorrow," Payton said. "I don't want to sugarcoat anything. We're gonna play a lot better teams on our schedule. And no disrespect to Chicago and Matt (Eberflus) and what they're trying to do. I'm sure the feeling's the same here. But I think the win was important for the group.”
DJ Moore caught eight passes for 131 yards and a touchdown for Chicago. Cole Kmet added 85 yards receiving and two TDs.
Cooper said the loss to Miami still stings. He called it “a chip that we're gonna carry for the rest of the season.”
The Bears said they asked receiver Chase Claypool to stay home, after he told reporters during the week that he was not being put in the best position to succeed. Claypool has four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown in three games. The Bears acquired him from Pittsburgh for a second-round draft pick last season.
Broncos: RB Javonte Williams (hip) exited the game.
Broncos: Host the New York Jets next Sunday.
Bears: Visit Washington on Thursday night. ------
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
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