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Cards came into the game 1 & 5. The Broncs were coming off four straight defeat. Their star pass rusher, Von Miller threatened to "kick some ass." Cards as a group kind of dead-panned the whole food fighting thingy. Which team would reign supreme.
On Thursday, October 18 - aka "The Night of the Living Dead", the Cardinals (aka Th Little Red Hens) laid a huge egg in the form of three Denver 1st quarter TD's and a 35 to 3 halftime deficit en route to a 45 - 10 thrashing.
The Bottom Line:
The Cards were down 14 - 0 before the die on their spiffy black and red jerseys had time to dry off. They did it the old fashioned way - via the Pick 6 and some halfback to wr passing trickeration. Follow that up with another Pick 6 (this one for 58 yards) and a 64 deep pass and we were well on our way to being blown out - which we were: down 35 - 3 by halftime. Cards looked inept in all aspects throughout the entire game. Read this and weep.
The team and the league are having trouble integrating game log information with the new Team and League web pages, so we can only provide you with partial numerical info. (Credit to the Cards web guys for providing play-log info; most teams and the League aren't providing this yet).
Broncos win toss/"defer."
KO returned to Card 21.
Cards run one play and have to use up a time out before play #2.
On the next play, Rosen's pass is either tipped - or bounces off a Bronco helmut. It's intercepted by T Davis and run back 20 yds for a TD. Broncos 7 - Cardinals 0.
Defensive offsides penalty on XP (Peteson)
Cards go 3 & out. Punt o-o-b at Denv 23.
Next series includes a 22-yd up the middle by Lindsay to Card 33. Two plays later, Sanders hits Sutton on a HB Pass for a 28-yd TD. (El Hole-O Diggo). Broncos 14 - Cards 0
Cards start off the next series on their own 14. Offense begins to click. +9. +6, +8. +7,, +10, Inc. +6, Inc. 43 yd FG. (9 plays/61 yds). Denv 14 - Cards 3.
Stop by Bynes on 3rd & 2 forces Denver to punt.
On second play of possession, Rosen's pass for Nelson is pick-sixed by C Harris (53 yd Denver TD). Denver 21 - Cards 3
Cards go 3 & out to end the quarter.
1st Quarter Score: Denver 21 - Cards 3
Punt returned to Denv 36.
On the first play of this Denver possession, Keenum hits Sanders deep right for a 64-yd TD. Denver 28 - Cards 3.
Cards pick up a couple of short 1st downs before being forced to punt....Denv goes 3 & out. Cards go 3 & out (features "delay of game" penalty on Cards and 10-yd sack by Barrett)....Denver picks up a 1st down but is then forced to punt. Cards go 3 & out...
Denver sustains next drive via the short-yardage on 3rd down and penalty route. Just before halftime, Keenum hits Sanders for +13 and two plays later, Freeman runs up the middle for a one-yd TD. Denver 35 - Cards 3.
At halftime. Rosen has gone 8 for 17 and 60 yds, n TD's and 2 pics. Johnson has carried 10-times for 35 yds. Fitz has 12 catches for 18 yds.
Halfitme Score: Broncos 35 - Cards 3
Broncs receive and pick up one first down before P Peterson picks off a Keenum for Sanders pass down the left sideline. No return yardage (PP21 cruised out of bounds). Card ball at their own 37. On the next play, Rosen hits Williams for +16 and Fitz for +18 yds. A 14-yd scramble by Rosen sustains the drive as does a defensive holding penalty two plays later. On the third play after that, Rosen hit Fitz for a 4-yd TD (Drive Totals: 11 plays/63 yds). Denver 35 - Cards 10..
(Note - Since points were scored by the Cards in the barron third quarter, consider this a moral victory. Also worth noting - this was Fitz's first TD of the season).
Denver goes 3 & out. A sack fumble turnover reversed on review - ruled incomplete pass - still Cardinal ball.
Two plays later, Rosen loses ball on a sack/fumble (Seals-Jones hurt)
Two plays after that, Lindsay runs 28-yds off RT for a TD. Denver 42 - Cards 10
On the next series, the two teams exchange 3 & outs to end the quarter. .
- Third Quarter Score: Denver 42 - Cards 10
On the next possession, Cards pick up a couple of short-yardage 1st downs and then Rosen hits Kirk deep middle for +21 yds and D Johnson (short- middle) for +17 yds. Two plays later, Rosen's pass for Kirk is picked off in the end zone by Roby for a touchback.
Denver goes 3 & out. Two plays later (why always 2 plays?) Rosen is sacked by Von Miller who recovers Rosen's fumble at the Cardinal 12. Broncs go 3 and a FG (nice sack by Zeke Moore). Denver 45 - Cards 10
A 27-yd (deep middle) completion to Kirk highlighted the next Cardinal possession. Rosen barely survives pummeling (2 sacks) by Chubb (injured at 2:00 mark). Denver takes over and runs out the clock (3 knees)
Final Score: Denver 45 - Cards 10
Notable Game Stats.
Total Net Yards: Cards 223 - Broncs 309
Penalties: Cards 7 for 45 - Broncs 5 for 50
Time of Possession: Cards 29:11 - Broncos 30:49
Passing: Rosen - 21 for 39, 194 yds, 1 TD, 3 Interceptions)
Rushing: Johnson 14 carries for 39 yds. Edmunds 5 carries for 9 yds
Receiving: Fitz and C Williams each had 4 receptions. KIrk and DJ each had 3. Fitz scored the only TD.
(Defensive Stats Unavailable from Cards or League)
- Congrats Fitz
- We ended the 3Q jinx (sort've
The Dark Side
Cards (aka "The Living Dead" were confronted with a "win or die" shoot-out challenge with a (statistically) similar opponent and...folded like a cheap tent.
Young teams will occasionally excite you with a great play of emerging talent. But more often than not, they wil break your heart by surrendering big plays to the enemy. Happened last night (aka Night of the Living Dead). All three Denver 1Q scores were via the big play route - (1) an interception (off a pass that looked as if it rebounded off a helmut); (2) a 28-yd halftback pass; and (3) a 53 yard pick six. (Shortly thereafter - early in the 2Q, the Cards surrendered Big Play #4 - a 64-yd Keenum to Sanders home run.
Every so-called "football expert" in the universe is going to have a range of fix-it remedies - ranging from player and coaching scapegoats to changes in strategy
But all the speeches and finger-pointing in the world isn't going to straighten out this mess. It will take grinding and more grinding...until a few breaks fall our way and our effort is rewarded with a W.
The quandary club officials must face is: How do you give Josh Rosen the positive reinforcement he'll continue to need while at the same time calling a spade a spade when he screws up (Clearly, if you give up two TD's via the turnover route in the first quarter, your work is going to be cut out for you - this cannot be allowed to keep happening).
Whew! We sure did suck last night. Ask me tomorrow and I'll give you the same answer as I will today: This is turning out to be a long season, and I don't see ourselves playing our way out of it - I have no confidence in the coaches and confidence in maybe a dozen or so players.
In a different universe, I'd strongly recommend we all find a different team to root for, because things aren't going to get better any time soon. But "this ain't Madden" - if we were 100% sure of the outcome of every game, "why play the games?" I just suggest we all grit our teeth (or hold our noses), hang in there for the duration and hope that Josh Rosen protects the ball better (& our pass blockers protect Josh better).