Rypien opened things up with back-to-back throws to Jerry Jeudy for a quick first down. They crossed midfield on the third play with an inside handoff to Latavius Murray. Two plays later, the Broncos lost Quinn Meinerz who went down with an injury. The 5-year injury bug is just a mainstay in Denver at this point. It looks like he may have been poked in the eyeball.
Rolling out, Rypien found Greg Dulcich open for a 12-yard gain to put Denver just in the fringe of field goal range, but a holding penalty on the next play would set them back. They’d get enough of those yards back to get a 52-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to take the early lead.
Broncos 3, Cardinals 0.
The defense forced a quick three and out, then Murray got the next drive going with back-to-back runs of his own for 10 yards and a first down. After another first down run, Dalton Risner left with an elbow injury. On the next play, JJ Watt absolutely crushed Brett Rypien for the sack. Tom Compton had a holding penalty on the first drive and then was blown up by Watt on that sack. Not a good start for him.
On the Cardinals next drive, Coly McCoy was pressured inside by Alex Singleton and forced a throw that was intercepted by Justin Simmons to get the Broncos the ball back with good field position.
Unfortunately, the Broncos could not capitalize on the turnover as McManus would miss a 38-yard field goal attempt very late in the first quarter.