Broncos shut out Bears, 22-0, in preseason opener

Demaryius Thomas  gets a head tap from teammate Michael Schofield after catching a touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Demaryius Thomas gets a head tap from teammate Michael Schofield after catching a touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Six months and four days since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos returned to the field for the first time Thursday as they opened the preseason with a 22-0 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

PHOTOS: Denver Broncos take on the Chicago Bears in preseason opener

The game started in a big way as quarterback Mark Sanchez ended the first drive game with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. Sanchez threw an interception to end the Broncos’ second drive.

Trevor Siemian took over at quarterback in the second quarter, opening with three completions to Cody Latimer before the Broncos settled for a Brandon McManus 37-yard field goal.

After a McManus field goal from 42 yards made it 13-0, Bennie Fowler blocked a Bears punt and Zaire Anderson recovered the ball in the end-zone for a touchdown just before halftime.

Sanchez finished 10 of 13 for 99 yards, while Siemian went 7 of 12 for 88 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Rookie Paxton Lynch played in the second half and was 6 of 7 for 74 yards.

Like last year when the Broncos won the Super Bowl, it was the defense that stole the show, finishing with seven sacks, including two on former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler in the first quarter.

One of those sacks in the third quarter resulted in a safety.

The Broncos’ Lorenzo Doss also intercepted Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer in the third quarter.