This is a great first game to have on the schedule for new coach, Eric Studesville. The Arizona Cardinals also sit at 3-9 and may be in more disarray than the Broncos. They’ve lost their last seven games. Many teams that have had their week one head coaches fired, have stepped it up a notch with an interim head coach. With many veterans on this Broncos team that can fill some of the gaps that a new coach may leave, don’t be surprised to see a blowout win for the Broncos. My Prediction: Broncos 31 Cardinals 14
Broncos - Mike McCoy will be in Kyle Orton’s ear this time. He’s got all of his receivers with the exception of Demaryius Thomas. The team is also without Spencer Larsen. The Broncos will likely balance the run and pass plays considering the Cardinals are so poor on defense. They’re 30th in rush defense and 25th in pass defense. The Broncos are 29th in rushing and 4th in passing. Don’t expect Orton to have another performance like last week, especially if Knowshon Moreno plays well again and the Cardinals have to respect the run.
Cardinals- The Cardinals are so poor on offense that they should be holding cardboard signs outside of stadium, begging for forgiveness. They are averaging 16.7 points per game and are ranked 31st in rushing and 30th in passing. They convert 26.5% of their 3rd downs. By comparison, the Broncos convert on 33.5% of the time. It’s unknown who the Cardinals will start at QB. John Skelton and Richard Bartel (who?) have split time at practice this week. Larry Fitzgerald is a tremendous receiver who is leading the team in receiving yards, but he hasn’t had a consistent QB behind him.
Broncos - The Broncos defense should undoubtedly not take this game lightly. However, they need to realize that the opportunities for big defensive plays will be there. With new QBs, the veteran secondary should be able to get some good reads on them and get a nice jump on the ball. The Cardinals are even worse than the Broncos at converting on third down, so heavy pressure needs to be applied in that situation. Brian Dawkins will not play.
Cardinals- They are giving up 28.2 points, 144.3 rushing yards, and 242.6 passing yards per game. Paris Lenon is leading the team in tackles and Joey Porter is the leader in sacks with 5. Calais Campbell has 4 sacks on the year. Their secondary has come up with quite a few interceptions this year. Kerry Rhodes has 3 while three other guys have 2 a piece.
Broncos - Eric Decker has done a nice job filling in for Demaryius Thomas both on offense and on special teams. The Cardinals have had a slew of guys returning kicks for them and all of them are speedy so coverage will need to be spot on.
Cardinals- Jay Feely and Ben Graham tag team the kicking duties. The Cardinals are kicking 3rd most of any team in the league. Special teams gets a giant spotlight on this team since the offense fails to keep drives alive very often.
Broncos - Eric Studesville says that he’s nervous and excited, but he will have his team ready to play come game time. The thing he will have to get used to is game management – managing timeouts, communication with assistant coaches, challenges, and any odd situation that comes up.
Cardinals- Ken Whisenhunt may have more head coaching experience that Studesville, but he doesn’t have the pieces to play with. No superstition is going to change that.
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