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The Setup
The final preseason game typically provides the battlefield where non-starter warriors battle one another for the few remaining spots on a roster. You hope to plug holes in vacant roster-spots with backup players who will not embarrass you when they're pressed into service.

What you want to know is: (1) which. if any, players showed flashes of consistency or playmaking talent. Conversely, what you hope not to see are your backups being steamrolled by opposing backup talent.

The Lede
"Little learned in 21 - 10 setback."

The Bottom Line:
We got little accomplished. Few if any Cardinal players earned spots. Our backup tacklers continued to tackle poorly. Our backup herd of receivers dropped more balls than they hung onto.Our defenders were continually hoodwinked by waggling Bronco QB's

Glennon showed small hints of competence under pressure, but didn't exactly set the world on fire. I wouldn'tbe shocked if there was a lot of movement on the open market at the the bottom of the Cardinal roster.

Game Log
Source: Website

1st Quarter
  • Denver at 15:00

    KO returned to Denver 21. Denv ran the ball of 7 of 9 plays to the Cardinal 26 before Kelly's pass for Cracaft was intercepted by J Smith and returned to the Denver 45. (Pain and simple - Cards couldn't stop Denver runners).

    Cards at 8:05

    Cards ran Badie three straight times (for +4, +7 and +3 yds) before Glennon hit Shirfield for +26 yds and then hit Little on an inside post for a 2-yd TD. Cards 7 - Broncs 0.

    Denver at 3:54

    Jones returned the KO to the Denver 25. Denver held to 3 & out before King punted from his own 31.

    Cards at 2:19

    Punt downed at the Card 20. A 10-yd run by Penny helped move them to their own 36 to end the quarter.

    1st Quarter Score: Cards 7 - Broncs 0.

    2nd Quarter
  • Cards (cont)

    An incompletion led to a 47-yd Lee punt.

  • Broncos at 14:44

    Punt (net flag) put ball on the Denver 10 and a penalty moved them back to their own 5. A deep pass (over Scott) and a roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Denver 37, and they punted from their own 41. .

    Cards at 12:19

    Punt fair caught at the Card 18. 3 & out. Cards punted from their own 22.

    Broncos at 10:36

    Punt (net penalty) gave Broncs the ball on their own 15. Denver mixed runs and short passes in an 11-play scoring drive capped by a 27-yd McManus FG. Cards 7 - Broncos 3.

    Cards at 4:48

    TB on KO. Glennon hit Shirfield for +18, but the Card drive was highjacked by an 8-yd cack of Glennon. Drive stalled at the Card 45. Cards punted.

    Broncos at 1:53

    Lee's punt was fair caught at the Denv 10. They couldn't get past their own 32 and punted.

    Cards at 0:45

    Punt returned by Willis to Card 34. Time ran out 4 plays later with a 12-yd sack of Glennon ending the half.

    Halfitme Score: Cards 17 - Cowboys 0

3rd Quarter

Cardinals at 15:00

KO returned to the Card 16. Kanoff in at QB. hey moved the ballall the way to their 10 before punting.

Broncos at 12:49

Punt returned to the Bronco 36. With P Lynch at QB, Denver steadily gained yardage on an 8 play drive with McManus kicking a 46-yd FG to make it: Cards 7 - Broncos 6

Cards at 8:33

Kanoff at QB. Kick returned to Card 13. Three & outsville.

Broncos at 7:22

Punt returned to Denver 33. 10 plays later, Lynch hit Lesllie for a 16-yd TD. Two-pointer resulted in a sack, but roughing the passer penalty on Moore gave Denver a second chance and this time they were successful. Denver 14 - Cards 7.

Cards at 1:33

TB on KO. Three plays later, Kanoff was sacked. Fumble recpvered by Denver (Holland).

Broncos at 1:13

Denver ball on the Card 23. They moved to the Card 10 as the 3rd quarter ended.

  • Third Quarter Score: Denver 14 - Cards 3
4th Quarter
  • Broncos (continued)
  • On the 1st play of the quarter, Lynch hit LaCosse for a TD (over Howard). Denver 21 - Cards 3.

Cards at 14:55

  • TB on KO. Three and out. Punt O-O-B at the Denver 22.

Broncos at 13:55

Denver marched to the Card 39, where McManus kicked one wide-left.

Cardinals at 9:31

Cards took over on their own 48. Kanoff engineered an 8 play drive capped by a 36-yard FG by McCrane. Denver 21 - Cards 10.

Broncos at 5:02

KO returned to Denver 29. First Denver 3 & out of contest. Punt returned by Willis to Card 17.

Cardinals at 2:26

Some pretty running by Victor for four straight plays to end the game

Final Score: Denver 21 Cards 10.

Notable Game Stats.

  • Glennon was 8 for 10 (69 yards, 1 TD and 0 picks).

  • Victor, Badie and Penny shared running chores - Penny and Victor showed positive flashess in limited action

  • No receiver had more than 2 catches. Shirfield looked best of lackluster crew who continued to drop too many balls.

  • Top Tacklers: Turner (10), B Williams (6), Moore (7)

Turner had the only sack.

J Smith had the only interception

Average yards per rushing play: 4.0 (vs 3.7 for Broncs)

Average yards per passing play (3.1) (vs. 7.1 for Broncs)

Bright Spots

  • Glennon shook off some of the rust

    Plenty of competition at backup DB

DO we spend cap money with the kicker we know (Dawsom)? Or do we go with the young guy with the lead-foot (McCrane)?

The Dark Side

  • Our receivers haven't proved they can catch the ball.

    Cardinal tacklers seldom stopped their guy for negative yardage. They were consistently dragged forward for extra yardage

  • We consistently bit on play action fakes. Mobile QB's will eat us up alive

Last Word:
It would be a mistake to reach for Dr Kevorkian's phone number on the Roladex because a bunch of backups didn't measure up. Still, it is a bit unnerving to see the same problems cropping up in Game 4 that we were concerned about going into Week 1. Too early to leap at conclusions - chill, brothers and sisters; chill.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012