Arizona Cardinals vs Denver Broncos: Preview, prediction

The Arizona Cardinals round out their 2016 preseason against the Denver Broncos.

The Arizona Cardinals will be hosting the Denver Broncos in the last exhibition game before the regular season begins. Denver (2-1) beat the Los Angeles Rams 17-9 last week and have finally found their replacement for Peyton Manning. Arizona (0-3) is still looking for its first win after losing a tough one on the road to the Houston Texans 34-24.

History: The Cardinals and the Broncos have faced each other 10 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 2 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have an all time 1-8-1 record against the Broncos. With the last win coming in Week 14 of the 2010 season in a game where kicker Jay Feely scored 22 points.

Footnote: This is the 11th preseason match up between the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos in the last 13 seasons

.What: Arizona Cardinals vs Denver Broncos

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: 6:30 PM Arizona Time (9:30 PM EST)

TV: ABC 15

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to Victory:

This game will be nothing like the last three weeks. Bruce Arians most likely already has a good idea as to who will make up the 53 man roster. While the starters won’t be playing there is still plenty to look out for in this final game.

Quarterback Matt Barkley is now competing against himself for a roster spot. Undrafted free agent Jake Coker was waived earlier this week, which paves the way for Barkley to the active roster. After improving in each game, look to see if Barkley can close the deal and convince Arians to carry three quarterbacks.

The Broncos have settled on 2015th seventh round pick Trevor Siemian pick as their starting quarterback. Denver’s first round pick Paxton Lynch will be playing the entire game for the Broncos. Meanwhile, Arizona’s first round pick Robert Nkemdiche will be playing in his second game this preseason and may look to build up some momentum heading into he regular season.

Rookie Brandon Williams is expected to be starting opposite All-Pro Patrick Peterson at right corner. While it may be perilous for Williams to play, he will need to get as many reps possible before the games start to count.

As said before, this game will mostly feature players on the bubble looking to cement their case to make the roster. This is the last shot for players like Chris Hubert, Olsen Pierre, Elijhaa Penny, Gabe Martin and Lamar Louis to make claim for a spot on the roster or the practice squad.

Odds:

Arizona -4

O/U 38

Prediction:

While there isn’t much riding on this game, it is still important for the team to finish strong. With extended playing time, Barkley should be able to get into a rhythm and lead the offense down the field. With many bubble players giving their best efforts, Arizona should be able to get that elusive preseason win.

Cardinals 31 Broncos 23

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