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The Setup
4th preseason game. Winning was only a secondary priority - for the Cards, this was mainly a "job interview for 2nd - 4th-string players seeking to stick on the final 53-man roster.

Main issues would center around "who flashed?" (which players would make the final cut. This writer listened to the first half of the game on SIRIUS, which means many of my impressions will reflect what anncrs Betrand Berry, Craig Grialou and Darren Urban had to say about the game and its players.

Did any players earn a final roster spot? Did any lose a spot on the Final 53? Little else would matter.

The Lede
Denver Scrubs 20 - Card Scrubs 7

The Bottom Line:
Denver led 10 - 0 at halftime and held on to beat the Cards 20 - 7

The Cards' lone score was a TD pass from Drew Anderson to to WR AJ Richardson.

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter - 11:40
Denver FG Denver 3 - Arizona 0
Brandon McManus 50 yd. field goal

2nd Quarter - 9:18
Denver TD Denver 10 - Arizona 0
Fred Brown 6 yd. pass from Kevin Hogan (Brandon McManus kick)

3rd Quarter - 7:35
Arizona TD Denver 10 - Arizona 7
A.J. Richardson 28 yd. pass from Drew Anderson (Zane Gonzalez kick)

3rd Quarter - 5:56
Denver TD Denver 17 - Arizona 7
Devontae Jackson 2 yd. run (Brandon McManus kick)

4th Quarter - 12:00
Denver FG Denver 20 - Arizona 7
Brandon McManus 33 yd. field goal

Key Team Stats:

Denver racked up 19 1st downs to Cardinals' 8

Cards only converted 2 of 11 third-downs (Denver went 4 of 13)

Cards picked off 3 passes. Broncs had one intercepton.

Denver fumbled once but recovered it. Cards lost 2 of 2 fumbles.

Denver led in time of possession - 35:50 to 24:10

Cards lost the Net Yardage battle 340 to 229.

Denver racked up 124 net rushing yards (to Cards' 53)

Card QBs were sacked 3 times (We sacked their QB one time)

Cards had zero red zone or goal-to-goal conversions (because we never reached the Denver red zone or goal vicinity). Cards allowed 2 of 3 goal-to-go conversions and held Denver to 2 of 4 in the red zone).

Key Player Stats

Hundley went 7 for 8 in passing attempts. Anderson went 9 of 16 for 118 yds and a TD. Kanoff went 4 for 9 and allowed the sole Cardinal interception.

Anderson was the leading Card rusher with 20 yards on 2 carries (That kind of tells you something)

Richardson snagged 5 passes including one for a TD. He was targeted 7 times. K Johnson was targeted 4 times and had 4 completions. Isabella was targeted 4 times and had one catch.

Dora had the one Cardinal sack. Brooks, Williams and Vallejo had the 3 Cardinal intereptions.

Brooks and Gardeck led the Cards in tackles with 6 apiece (Nichols and J Thompson were next with 2).

Tackles For Loss - Vallejo 2; Robertson, Dora, D Thompson had one apiece

Bright Spots
We didn't get blown out.

Vallejo made a few plays

KS Johnson seems to be as consistent as a rock. Richardson got a long look and, in general, produced.

It was an "audition" and not a real game

Low Lights
To sum things up - "We don't know how the starters for both teams measured up because they didn't play. But what we do know is that" their scrubs bea tour scrubs in all aspects of play..

"Audition" or not - the team and player stats don't lie - they reflect a lop-sided loss by the Cardinals.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones remains a high profile TE who continues to have trouble hanging onto the ball. CB Brandon Williams had a pick, but was otherwise horrific in coverage. There comes a time on every team where it must pull the trigger and rid itself of "coach killers" if it's to eventually be successful.

Last Word:
We don't know how the two teams stack up overall. The starters didn't play. We do know that our backups weren't as good as their backups. Which begs the question:

How much room for development for our younger players - are they long on potential and can they be coached up? Or are they pretty much what we're stuck with. Don't expect Coach Kingsbury or his staff to give you an honest answer, but our lack of a quality bench may be the ticket to our team's eventual downfall. "But what about Kyler Murray, Patrick Peterson and our starting offensive, defensive and special team units? Time will tell, but at least the potential is there. The task at hand won't be impossible but, to be frank, it ain't gonna be no cake-walk.

Meanwhile, the cuts await us. Because we're dealing with a new head coach, new systems and a partly turned over roster, it's probably unwise to get into the "prediction business" when it comes to figuring out who'll make the final 53-man roster. (All we'll say is that we'll be watchng with great interest the following Cardinal players):

RB We like TJ Logan's home-run potential.

WR More talent than openings. In addition to Fitz and Kirk, KSean Johnson, Damiere Byrd, Michael Crabtree, Andy Isabella, Trent Sherfield are all in the hunt. Cooper can return punts and KO's but still may be on the bubble.

OL In addition to starters - Humphreys, Pugh, Cole, Shipley, Sweezy and Gilbert, we've heard nice things said about Gossett, Gaillaard and Miles.

DL Z Allen may be one of our very few rookie heros. Keep an eye on Miles Brown. Dogbe seems to have potential.

LB Robertson, Vallejo may shore up an otherwise unspectacular unit.

CB Murphy , Brock and Jones will be asked to step up and fill gaping roster holes left by Peterson and Alford.

S Keep an eye on the Thompson Twins.


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