All-Pro linebacker Von Miller made a bold prediction prior to Denver’s Thursday Night game – a beatdown of the Arizona Cardinals. Although he used far more “colorful” language. And the Broncos did just that, they whooped the Cards in the desert 45-10. At halftime, the score was 35-3. Everything more or less went right for Denver, but lets not forget this one important fact – it was against a terrible Arizona team. Hopefully though the win will give the Broncos confidence as they head to another important AFC West clash at Arrowhead against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Really Good
Denver’s defense was incredible all game. They forced five turnovers and had two pick-sixes, one on the second play of the game by middle linebacker Todd Davis. Cornerback Chris Harris had the second pick-six prior to halftime. Von Miller led the defense with two sacks and forced two fumbles and recovered one. For the game, the defense had six total sacks and held the Cardinals to only 60 yards rushing, this after giving up over 200 yards each of the previous two games. This was a vast improvement for a defense that needed a jolt.
Emmanuel Sanders was the offensive stud this game. Not only did he catch six passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, he also threw a touchdown pass, becoming the first Bronco since John Elway in 1986 to finish a game with a touchdown pass and a touchdown reception. As a QB this year, he is now 1/1 for 28 yards and a touchdown. Sanders has been a bright spot for a struggling passing game, and is one of the reasons the Broncos are now listening to offers for Demaryius Thomas as the trade deadline approaches. Also on the offensive side, rookie running back Phillip Lindsay continues to impress as he had 90 yards on 14 carries, and had a touchdown. Both Sanders and Lindsay will look to keep the offense alive next week in Kansas City.
It has to be said, but even in a game that was as good as it could get, quarterback Case Keenum still struggled. 161 yards and one throwing touchdown, plus another interception was the stat sheet for the struggling quarterback. Keenum now has an NFL leading nine for the season, and has thrown at least one in every game this year. Even with the great game by the Broncos, fans in the Mile High city are still wishing for rookie Chad Kelly to get his chance. Inexplicably, Kelly did not have an appearance in this game, even after it was out of hand.
Head Coach Vance Joseph was able to keep his job for one more week with the victory. With the added prep time the Broncos will have, maybe they will have a chance next week against the Chiefs. But only time will tell if this game was a true showing of how Denver can be as a team.