The Denver Broncos committed to running the ball with Brett Rypien in at quarterback and it worked. Latavius Murray became the Broncos first 100-yard rusher of the season and the team piled up over 150 total yards and two touchdowns on the ground on their way to a 24-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Broncos offense led by Brett Rypien came out with some efficiency on their opening drive, but a holding penalty on Tom Compton killed their momentum. Brandon McManus would kick a 52-yard field goal to give Denver an early lead over Arizona.
Then late in the first quarter, Justin Simmons came up with his fourth interception of the season. He picked off Colt McCoy and returned it deep into Cardinals territory.
.@jsimms1119 doing @jsimms1119 things.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 18, 2022
: FOX pic.twitter.com/8p5LITb8Br
However, when McManus came out for a 38-yard field goal attempt he pushed it wide right to keep the score 3-0 as the first quarter came to an end.
Broncos 3, Cardinals 0. Full first quarter recap.
With both starting guards out with injury, the Broncos offensive line completely collapsed in the second quarter. Fortunately, the Broncos defense was also up to the task after giving up a field goal early in the second quarter they also clamped down.
Last five drives in Broncos-Cardinals.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 18, 2022
DEN: 3 plays, -5 yards, punt
AZ: 3 plays, 3 yards, punt
DEN: 3 plays, 2 yards, punt
AZ: 3 plays, 9 yards, punt
DEN: 4 plays, 28 yards, punt
After forcing another three and out, the Broncos offensive line decided they needed to even the playing field a bit for Arizona. They gave up their sixth sack of the half and a strip to give the Cardinals the ball at midfield with under a minute to go. They would get just enough to setup a Matt Prater 50-yard field goal to put Arizona up at halftime.
Cardinals 6, Broncos 3. Full second quarter recap.
The Cardinals added a field goal early in the third quarter, but the Broncos offense woke up for a drive behind a strong rushing attack. They capped a long drive to retake the lead behind this Marlon Mack touchdown.
@Marlon_Mack25 | : FOX pic.twitter.com/dhAl4StMhX— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 18, 2022
Broncos 10, Cardinals 9. Full third quarter recap.
Latavius Murray cracked the 100-yard barrier early in the fourth quarter as the Broncos tried to avoid throwing the ball with a lead as much. With seven sacks given up on the day, that was a good game plan adjustment they made in this game. Murray was the first 100-yard rusher the Broncos have had all season.
That ground game took control over the game early in the fourth quarter and led to another touchdown with Murray getting one from 10-yards out.
Broncos 17, Cardinals 9.
Simmons would snag his second interception of the game and return it all the way to the Cardinals 8-yard line to essentially seal things for Denver.
Another one.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 18, 2022
: FOX | @jsimms1119 pic.twitter.com/oGd5wdrbab
Rypien would hit Eric Tomlinson two plays later for a touchdown to put the Broncos up 24-9 with nine minutes to go in the game.
Broncos 24, Cardinals 9.
Denver isn’t used to playing with a lead, apparently, because the defense was promptly gashed for big plays on the Cardinals next drive and they used just three minutes off the clock to put up a touchdown. The defense did stop Arizona’s 2-pt attempt to keep it a two-score lead.
Broncos 24, Cardinals 15.
The Broncos rushing attack, which had dominated all game, helped ice the game with first down after first down to secure Denver’s fourth win of the season. A Patrick Surtain interception finally ended it.
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