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Home / Sports / Broncos Vs. Cardinals: preview, prediction, how to watch, stream, stats for & # 39; Thursday Night Football & # 39;

Broncos Vs. Cardinals: preview, prediction, how to watch, stream, stats for & # 39; Thursday Night Football & # 39;



Week 7's Thursday Night Football issue features two of the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft, and we'll see them both on the field at the same time.

There were some who thought that the Denver Broncos might be interested in a quarterback near the top of the draft, but when pass-rusher Bradley Chubb fell into their laps, John Elway and Company pulled the trigger and gave Von Miller one Partner in crime. A few picks later, the Cardinals traded for a quarterback, leaving Josh Rosen the fourth passer off the board after Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.

Rosen has shown some interesting talents this season, including the ability to fit the ball into tight pass windows. He looks like the player who could lead Arizona for a while. The Broncos are likely to be looking for a new quarterback this season as the free agent who signed Case Keenum did not work as well as expected.

Of course, what happened in the first six weeks of the year could have a big impact on what happens this Thursday (8:20 pm, NFL Network, Fox, Stream on FUBO). Will Rosen or Keenum lead their team to victory?

When the Broncos Have the Ball

The Broncos' offensive was very contradictory throughout this season, mainly due to quarterback Case Keenum's up-and-down play. Denver was arguably the worst quarterback game in the NFL in 201

7, combined with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler to complete 59 percent of their passes at 6.5 yards per attempt, while throwing 19 touchdowns against 22 interceptions. After Keenum's fantastic season in Minnesota, the Broncos pushed him into the free agency early on and given him a sizeable deal, assuming he was an obvious improvement over the deceased trio. Six games a year, it is not clear that this is the case (I'm really sorry).

Prior to last season, Keenum had proven to be a substandard starter at best. Most of the time, he looked more like a vague backup. But in the pairing with Pat Shurmur, Adam Thielen, Stepon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, he beamed for much of the 2017 campaign. His play in 2018 made him look more like the player he was before last year.

Year Team Comp% YPA TD% INT% RTG
2013-2016 HOU / RAM 58.4 [19659016] 6,7 3,1 2,6 78,4
2017 MIN 67,6 7,4 4,6 [19659016] 1.5 98.3
2018 DEN [19659016] 63.1 7.2 3.0 3.4 80.5

Keenum has no non-Emmanuel Sanders Recipient showed a lot of chemistry, and he has struggled to throw the ball into the field. On passes that are 15 yards in the air or more, Keenum is only 20 of 41 for 591 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions, according to Sports Info Solutions. Compare that to last year when he was 44 out of 103 for 1,118 yards, eight touchdowns and three picks. He has already surpassed last year's number of interceptions on these types of passes, while his Passer rating has fallen from 94.9 to 71.5.

Miller's bold prediction

Arizon's pass defense was strong this season, especially strong against the deep pass. No team in the NFL was better against passes that travel 15 feet in the air or more, according to Football Outsiders & # 39; DVOA. Arizona was a bit ready to take the short pass to attack, and the Broncos may have to settle for pushing the ball deeper than looking for big games.

While Keenum has been struggling this year, the Bronco's rookie-led running game has actually done well. Third-round selection Royce Freeman and ungrafted free-agent Phillip Lindsay have joined forces to form a solid backfield duo, with each player averaging more than 4.7 yards per carry. Combined, they have shot the ball 119 times for 618 yards and four scores, and the Broncos lead the NFL in yards per rush and are 10th in yards per game despite being 21st in trials.

Lindsay is the more versatile of the two players and seems to be the preferred passback situation, but Freeman has shown a strong ability to break tackles and generate yards after contact. His 15 broken tackles in run-game rank third in the NFL behind only Melvin Gordon and Chris Carson, and his rate of a broken tackle wearing all 3.8 is the second best among the 70 NFL players who hit the ball at least 20 times have played. The Cardinals had 17 tackle attempts broken by opposing running backs this season, one of the highest numbers in the NFL, so Freeman's power game in this match could be more key than usual.

When the Cardinals have the ball

Only one team in the NFL scored less points than the Cardinals this season, and this team was quarterbacked by Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen, so it does not really matter. Arizona struggled with midfield midfielder Sam Bradford and has since made the switch to rookie Josh Rosen. Even with roses below the middle, the Cardinals have not even broken 300 yards in a single game, making them one of only two teams yet to overcome this barrier.

Arizona's problems were many, but the lack of creativity in the way the team used Star running back David Johnson really stands out as the source of their extreme inability to move the ball with any consistency. Johnson is one of the most versatile players in the NFL as a 6-foot-1, 224-pound running back who has the route-running and catching ability of a wide receiver, but the Cardinals were largely content to lead him Center and throw simple swing and circle paths instead of moving it around the formation and bringing it into open space. Johnson has also landed in stacked boxes, with 68 of his 92 transfers coming when the defense had seven players in the box or more, according to sports information solutions. This 74 percent rate is a bit higher than its 2016 breakout season, when 68 percent of its runs came against more than seven men in the pits. These runs were even less effective this season than they were then, as their average for these games dropped from 4.05 to 3.13.

Not playing Johnson at its best, the cardinals' passing game has been repeatedly put into less than advantageous situations. Bradford could not accomplish much when he was in the field, and while Rosen was better, he was also prone to rookie mistakes. Rosen fires the ball at a much higher rate than Bradford, allowing the cardinals to create some chunks that they painfully missed earlier in the year. Only 14 of Bradford's 80-pass attempts traveled 15 or more yards in the air and he completed only six of those passes for 154 yards, two touchdowns and three picks. Rosen, meanwhile, has thrown 23 of his 90-pass attempts more than 15 yards down, finishing 10 for 296 yards and two scores. Rosen has shown a good deal of confidence in his compatriot Christian Kirk, who has 13 catches for 190 yards and a score in Rosen's three starts.

It is still extremely difficult to blow the ball against Denver, even after the team has acted against Aqib Talib. Chris Harris Jr. remains one of the NFL's best corners, and the Von Milled-led Pass Rush can still come home. The Broncos struggled a bit in the passing game, and if Rosen and Ricky Seals-Jones can reach the same side as the Vikings last week, there could be some big games in the middle of the field.

Still, the best way to get the ball on the Broncos is on the ground, and that seems to be the one thing the Cardinals are most incapable of. The clever money is in Arizona, which is struggling to remain aggressively unbeaten and to leave everything on Rosens right shoulder. And that's not a good situation if Miller and his company rely on a young QB.

Prediction: Broncos 23, Cardinals 14


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