CHICAGO — Mitch Trubisky threw for 166 yards and led three scoring drives after Mike Glennon struggled for Chicago, but the Denver Broncos scored two long touchdowns in the closing minutes to beat the Bears 24-17 in the preseason opener Thursday night.
Though the Bears have insisted Glennon is their starter, Trubisky just might have created a quarterback controversy.
Denver’s Trevor Siemian did nothing to hurt his standing as the leader for the starting quarterback job, while Paxton Lynch did little to close any ground.
Third-stringer Kyle Sloter threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie with about six minutes left in the game, and De’Angelo Henderson ran for a 41-yard score with just under two minutes remaining to put the Broncos on top 24-17.
But the biggest development in this game was Trubisky showing exactly why General Manager Ryan Pace traded up a spot with San Francisco to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.
The North Carolina product completed 18 of 25 passes in his first pro appearance after making just 13 college starts.
Trubisky replaced veteran Mark Sanchez late in the second quarter and completed his first 10 passes while leading Chicago to touchdowns on his first two possessions and a field goal on the next one. That gave the Bears a 17-10 lead.
Glennon had a rough time in his first appearance for Chicago. Signed to a three-year contract after the Bears parted with Jay Cutler, he was 2-of-8 for 20 yards with a zero QB rating. Chris Harris Jr. intercepted an overthrown pass on the game’s third play from scrimmage and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Things didn’t get much better for Chicago’s offense until Trubisky came in with 1:55 left in the half.
He completed four passes on a 50-yard drive, connecting with Victor Cruz from the 2 to cut it to 10-7 with 13 seconds left.
Trubisky then led Chicago on a 75-yard drive early in the third, going 5-for-5 for 50 yards before Benny Cunningham ran it in from the 1 to give Chicago a 14-10 lead.
Siemian — a surprise successor to Peyton Manning last season — completed 6 of 7 passes for 51 yards and led a field-goal drive.
Lynch came on early in the second quarter and was 6-for-9 for 42 yards.
Packers open with victory
GREEN BAY, Wis. — With Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines as a healthy scratch, Brett Hundley led Green Bay to a 24-9 win against Philadelphia on Thursday.
Hundley pump-faked before finding Jeff Janis in stride down the right side of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead with 8:25 left in the second quarter. The Packers capitalized after cornerback LaDarius Gunter forced tight end Trey Burton to fumble at the Eagles’ 40.
Hundley finished 8-of-15 for 90 yards before sitting out the second half.
Commissioner watches Patriots lose
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell watched the New England Patriots’ exhibition opener Thursday night.
It was his first game in New England since suspending quarterback Tom Brady in the scandal that came to be known as “Deflategate.”
Goodell was in Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s luxury suite as the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars started, according to a photograph posted on Twitter by The Boston Globe. Patriots spokesman Stacey James confirmed to The Associated Press that Goodell was at the game.
On the field, Chad Henne hit Keelan Cole on a 97-yard touchdown pass, Corey Grant scored on a 79-yard run and the Jaguars feasted on a Patriots lineup without Brady and Rob Gronkowski — or much defense at all — to beat the defending NFL champions 31-24.
With the reigning Super Bowl MVP sitting out, Jimmy Garoppolo completed a Brady-like 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots’ heir apparent completed 13 straight passes at one point, finding Austin Carr on a 3-yard touchdown pass at the end of the first half and then K.J. Maye from 5 yards out to start the second and make it 17-17.
But the New England defense followed by giving up another one-play scoring drive — this one Grant’s run down the left sideline to make it 24-17. Third-string quarterback Brandon Allen hit Dede Westbrook from 42 yards out — victimizing Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones for another big play — to make it a two-touchdown game.
Grant ran for 120 yards on eight carries.
Backup Keenum lifts Vikings
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater need not rush back from injury after Case Keenum showed glimpses of being a capable backup in the Minnesota Vikings’ 17-10 preseason-opening win over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.
Taking over for starter Sam Bradford, Keenum went 11-of-16 for 121 yards. The sixth-year player engineered a pair of scoring drives — both set up by passes to rookie receiver Stacy Coley.
Keenum hit Coley in stride over the middle on a crossing pattern for a 38-yard catch to set up Kai Forbath’s 36-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 late in the second quarter.
On the opening drive of the second half, Keenum rolled to his right and hit Coley, a seventh-round pick out of Miami, who made a sliding catch at the Bills’ 2.
Fullback C.J. Ham scored on the next play to put Minnesota ahead 10-3.
Ravens beat Washington
BALTIMORE — Ryan Mallett struggled in place of injured quarterback Joe Flacco, throwing for only 58 yards while playing the entire first half, but the Baltimore Ravens beat the Washington Redskins 23-3 on Thursday night in a sloppy preseason opener.
The Ravens scored 13 points while Mallett was in the game, including a 2-yard touchdown run by Terrance West following two costly penalties by the Redskins: pass interference for 23 yards on a third-and-8 and an illegal formation on a field goal try that hit the left upright.
Flacco has yet to take a snap this summer because of a bad back. That left Mallett to run the first-team offense; he went 9-for-18 and was sacked once.
In his defense, Mallett was operating behind a makeshift line and without his top three receivers.