Whenever the Broncos and Cardinals play each other, there’s one thing we can expect out of the matchup regardless of how meaningful the game is. Jay Feely is going to put up most of the Cardinals points.
Last December saw 5 field goals and one touchdown run from Feely in a Cardinals 43-13 win. On this first day of September, we see Feely put up 4 field goals for 12 Cardinal points. Can he take snaps in the red zone too?
In what was the hardest preseason game to sit through, the Broncos came away looking like a JV football team. 26-7 is a loss not for the faint of orange heart. The starters didn’t play for the Broncos, but that score still doesn’t sit well for a team who will at some point have to rely on their backups this season.
The only starters that did play were fullback Spencer Larsen, tight end Julius Thomas, and cornerback Cassius Vaughn.
The good must have been washed away by the intense 106-degree heat at kickoff. The bad and the ugly were prominent in this Thursday night game. The Broncos defense gave up 398 total yards, and the Cardinals had the ball for nearly 40 minutes. The Broncos offense went 2-for-11 on third down, and were scoreless until there was 2:57 remaining in the game.
Brady Quinn finished the night with a 7.7 QB rating. He went 4-for-12 for 26 yards, with one interception, and one sack. Brandon Minor led the team in rushing with 6 carries for 32 yards.
Eron Riley led the team in receiving thanks in large part to fourth-string QB Adam Weber. On Weber’s second ever NFL snap, he threw a short pass to Riley, and Riley went 89 yards down the field. Weber then took the ball down to the 1-yard line on a 13 yard run as the play clock hit 0:00. What a way for Weber to regroup after his first NFL snap resulted in a sack for a loss of 9 yards. The rookie QB was congratulated by Larry Fitzgerald (who he worked with in the off season), and a smiling Tim Tebow after the game.
Riley also hauled in a 43-yard touchdown reception from Tebow. Riley finished with 3 catches for 144 yards. Tebow ended the night with 116 yards on 7-for-11 passing.
This was clearly a game to rest the starters, maybe educate them from the sideline, and let the “bubble guys” shine, so that they have a chance of extending their professional careers.
Those bubble guys? 27 will be gone by Saturday.
Those non-bubble guys? They’ll be ready to play on Sept. 12.