The Denver Broncos suffered a 17-18 loss against the Arizona Cardinals last Friday night in the team's preseason debut. While the result of the game ultimately doesn't matter, the way we reached that result certainly does. The Broncos didn't play an overly spectacular game against the Cardinals in any phase.
Offensively, the highlights were produced by the first and third units, and it took the starters a bit to get things going. Defensively, the Broncos gave up a game-winning drive in the final minutes of the game and the pass rush was not getting home off the edge frequently enough against backup linemen. On special teams, we all saw the missed kicks and Riley Dixon's horrendous punts.
It wasn't all bad, of course, but there are definitely some players who need to bounce back this coming week to give themselves a fighting chance at a roster spot or an actual role this coming season.
3 Denver Broncos players who need to bounce back in second preseason game
1. Both kickers (Elliott Fry, Brett Maher)
There's absolutely no question that the kickers have to be better after the abysmal showing we saw on Friday night. It was so bad that the same Denver Broncos fans who had been clamoring for the team to cut Brandon McManus the last couple of seasons were longing for his return to the team. McManus was one of the worst kickers in the league last season, in terms of field goal percentage (3 missed kicks inside of 40 yards along with two missed extra points) but what we saw on Friday was borderline incompetent.
Elliott Fry and Brett Maher each missed their first field goal attempt before Fry nailed a 55-yard kick just before halftime. Maher made an extra point but had his next field goal attempt blocked.
Simply put, Broncos Country almost unanimously wrote these two guys off after the first preseason game. We'll see what happens as the preseason trucks along, but there's no doubt that the kickers have to be better, and fast.