Week Fifteen -- Denver Broncos @ Arizona Cardinals
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Kick-off time: 4:05 pm EST
The Broncos head to Arizona knowing they need to win or miss the playoffs, it's as simple as that. It won't be easy, since the Cards have won 3 of 4 while the Broncos have lost 4 straight. If the Broncos havan't solved their issues on defense it could be a long day as the Cards have several weapons on offense.
GAME DAY NOTES:
*--8 Teams in the last 10 years have endured losing streaks of at least 4 games and still qualified for the playoffs
*--The Broncos are 6-0-1 lifetime against the Cardinals, and have outscored the Cards 113-30 in three games under Mike Shanahan
*--For the 20th time in 27 games the Broncos game will be broadcast by a network's top broadcast team or on primetime
*--Witha win, Jay Cutler would become the first rookie quarterback to win a game for the Broncos since John Elway against Baltimore December 11, 1983
*--Tatum Bell(102 yards) and Javon Walker(77 yards) can surpass the 1000 yard mark today.
*--Last Regular Season Meeting -- 37-7, 12/29/02 -- WIN
Official Gameday Press Release
FIRST QUARTER -
*--Great start for the Broncos as Cutler finds Javon Walker for the quick score. Just the start we needed! BRONCOS 7 - CARDINALS 0
*--The start gets even better with the pick by Bailey. Can someone tell me why teams continue to challenge #24?
*--A TD would have been nice, but I'll take the 3 and a double-digit lead early...BRONCOS 10 - CARDINALS 0
*--The D-Line definitely playing with some urgency, first with the sack, then foricng a holding penalty
*--A nice 3rd down conversion, as Cutler finds his favorite target Scheffler for a 1st down.
*--It wasn't pretty, but CUtler has great athletic ability a leaves a manageable 3rd down which is promptly converted by Mike Bell
*--No doubt in my mind the offense is alot more fluid with Jay Culter under center.
*--Another third down conversion, this time to Brandon Marshall who entered the game for Javon Walker. The three rookies getting it done for the Broncos
*--END OF THE FIRST QUARTER -- BRONCOS 10 - CARDINALS 0
SECOND QUARTER --
*--The second quarter starts with another field goal for the Broncos, and though the points are nice I'd prefer TD's...BRONCOS 13 - CARDINALS 0
*--Cardinals putting together their best drive of the game so far, with a couple runs and a first down
*--Cardinals picking up big chunks of yards now, and this can only help the confidence of the Cards' offense.
*--Cards finally stopped with an assist to the umpire who shielded Fitzgerald. Racker to try a field goal from 49 yards
*--It's good and the Cards are on the board - BRONCOS 13 - CARDINALS 3
*--Another reason the Broncos are dead-last in stating field position as Morgan retunrs the ball from 5 yards deep to the 15 yardline...Yikes!
*--Big pass to Smith, though he can't keep control. It's called complete, but this will be reviewed and overturned
*--Smith had another chance to make a play that might turn his season around, but it slips through his fingers
*--The play is officially over-turned and the Broncos miss a nice opportunity
*--So much for the big lead as Tatum Bell fumbles the ball on his own 10 and the Cardinals run it in for a touchdown. BRONCOS 13 - CARDINALS 10
*--The Broncos continue to beat themselves, as has been the case during much of the losing streak. One step forward, 2 steps backward.
*--Broncos offense re-takes the field needing something positive. One side-note, it's nice to see Javon Walker back on the field
*--All of a sudden the Broncos offense is getting stuffed...
*--Nice pitch and catch from Cutler to Walker gets a much-needed first down
*--Another 1st down to Walker and the offense has it going again.
*--Cutler to Scheffler again for another 1st down. What has been impressive today is Cutler has been effective without much of a running game
*--A reverse to Marshall nets another first, and brings us to the two-minute warning with the Broncos at the Cardinal 20.
*--TWO-MINUTE WARNING - BRONCOS 13 - CARDINALS 10
*--Cutler shows off his arm again zipping a pass to Rod Smith and near another 1st down
*--Broncos try and run a sweep on third and 1 and lose 2 yards. Another field goal try for the Broncos who continue to leave points on the field
*--Elam kicks it through and extends the lead back to six with under a minute to go in the half - BRONCOS 16 - CARDINALS 10
*--Broncos force the Cards into a 3 and out, and the Broncos will get the ball back, though surely to down it to end the half
*--Impressive Half for Cuter - 13-17, 160 yards and a TD
*--Broncos move a bit before running out of time. The good guys dominate, but mistakes and field goals keep the score close.
*--HALFTIME - BRONCOS 16 - CARDINALS 10
THIRD QUARTER --
*--The Broncos take the ball to start the 2nd half and will look for Cutler to continue to impress
*--The Broncos keep trying to run outside and keep losing yards.
*--The Cards will have great field position, after Cutler throws his first interception, not what we were looking for to start the 2nd half
*--This game has an eerily similar feel to the Seattle game, with the Broncos dominating yet only up 6 points
*--The defense comes up huge, forcing the Cards into a field goal try, which Rackers nails from 40 yards, though a holding penalty will force Rackers to try it from 50 yards
*--The penalty proves costly as Rackers misses it to the left. A huge sigh of relief as the lead remains 6
*--Forced by the wife to get a pizza, I missed the Bronco TD, though I did hear it thanks to my Sirius Satellite radio -- BRONCOS 23 - CARDINALS 10
*--Cardinals trying to answer immediately, with Boldin and Fitzgerald finally getting involved in the offense
*--Defense stiffens in the Red Zine and forces the Cards to kick a field goal from 38 yards
*--Rackers hits it, and the lead is cut to 10 -- BRONCOS 23 - CARDINALS 13
*--Finally a huge play by the special teams as Morgan returns the kick-off 60 yards and the Broncos are in position to score inside the Cardinal 30
*--Three runs move the ball to the Cardinal 12, and bring an end to the 3rd Quarter
*--END OF THE THIRD QUARTER - BRONCOS 23 - CARDINALS 13
FOURTH QUARTER --
*--A Cutler sneak brings up 3rd and an inch, literally
*--Bell picks it up give the Broncos a 1st and goal, looking to put the Broncos up 17
*--And it is Mike Bell again diving into the end-zone! Touchdown Broncos!!! BRONCOS 30 - CARDINALS 13
*--The defense really getting after Leinart now, knowing that the Cards have to throw every down
*--The teams trade scores, and in the end the Broncos finally get their 8th win.
*--FINAL SCORE -- DENVER 37 - ARIZONA 20