Thursday Night Football: Broncos vs Cardinals Preview and Pick

Arizona Cardinals Football

Broncos and Cardinals Try to Save Season

The Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both teams went shopping in the offseason to fix their respective quarterback issues. They came away with a pair of players who spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Neither move has panned out for the Cardinals and Broncos. We have a pair of teams who have a collective three wins entering Thursday’s matchup at Arizona.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Cardinals -1.. O/U: 42.

Denver has dropped four in a row since opening the season with a pair of narrow victories at home. Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen supplanted Sam Bradford as the starter in Week 3.

Broncos have Lost 4 Straight

Denver is 2-4 on the season and are getting into must win territory.

Denver has to tighten up against the run. They rank last in the league with an average of 161.3 yards permitted on the ground. The Broncos allowed a 200-yard rusher for the second straight week. It ended in a 23-20 loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

The Broncos’ pass rush did generate five sacks in the latest loss. Three of them were by rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb.

Case Keenum threw scoring passes to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on Sunday. Yet he still has more interceptions (8) than TDs (7) through the first six games.

Rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman were held to a combined 40 yards on 13 carries last week.

Denver has won eight of the past nine meetings against the Cardinals.

Miller has 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his last six games versus NFC opponents.

Cardinals Have to Play Better in All Aspects

The Cardinals have to win this week to have any chance at the playoffs. They have started the season 1-5 and a home win would be big for this team.

Arizona ranks last in the league in total yards (220.5) and rushing (64.0) under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He was fired by the Broncos during the 2017 season following a six-game slide.

Rosen did throw for a career-high 240 yards but failed to throw a touchdown pass in last week’s 27-17 loss at Minnesota. Rosen connected with fellow rookie Christian Kirk six times for 77 yards against the Vikings.

Running back David Johnson has surpassed 55 yards rushing just once in six games despite scoring six touchdowns. The offensive woes are magnified by a defense that ranks 31st against the run by surrendering an average of 151.2 yards.

Johnson has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of his last 11 at home, scoring 13 TDs in that span.

PREDICTION: Broncos 23, Cardinals 20

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Next up:
Denver at Kansas City Sunday, October 28
Arizona home to San Francisco Sunday, October 28

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