Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals: Preview and Prediction

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Von Miller expects the Broncos to win on Thursday night. | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals matchup on Thursday Night Football is projects to be a battle between two teams that are desperate for a win. And to be brutally honest, tonight’s game feels a lot like the early years of Thursday Night Football when we would see the last place teams square off during prime time.

The Broncos come into this game with a disappointing 2-4 record, while the Cardinals are sitting at 1-5. Denver is current one-point favorites with an over/under set at 42.5 points.

With the game now just hours away, here is a preview and prediction for this Week 7 game.

Arizona Cardinals

Sam Bradford entered the season as the Cardinals’ starter, but as we all knew, he was nothing more than a placeholder for Josh Rosen. While the Arizona offense has shown some signs of life with Rosen under center, they still have arguably the worst offense in the NFL.

Arizona enters tonight averaging a league-low 220 yards per game and only 13.7 points per game — which ranks 31st in the NFL. Much of the blame for the team’s struggles has been placed on offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

If McCoy wants to save his job for another week, he would be wise to get All-Pro running back David Johnson involved early and often. Let’s not forget, it was just last week that the Broncos became the first team in NFL history to allow a running back to rush for at least 200 yards in back to back games.

Defensively, the Cardinals haven’t been great against the run, but they do have an elite cornerback (Patrick Peterson), and one of the premier edge rushers in the league.

Denver Broncos

There might not be a more dysfunctional organization in the NFL right now than the Broncos.

In 2017, the Broncos lost eight-straight games and finished the season with a 5-11 overall record. And they are well on their way to heading a similar path in 2018, thanks to their current four-game losing streak.

Denver’s only two wins this season came against the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders, who are both in rebuilding mode. Things are so bad in Denver right now, that General Manager John Elway came out this week and said that everyone is “Fighting for their jobs.” In fact, the talk behind the scenes is that Elway knows it’s time to move on from Vance Joseph, but hasn’t gotten the green light to give him the boot yet. That said, it’s going to be hard not to fire him if he loses a fifth-straight game on Thursday night.

The Broncos’ defense is nowhere near what it was in 2015 during their Super Bowl run, and defensive coordinator Joe Woods continues to call plays in situations that make very little sense. The Broncos enter the game as the 27th ranked total defense giving up just over 400 yards per game.

Offensively, Case Keenum is having arguably the worst season of his NFL career. Yes, he is 12th in passing yards, but a lot of those yards are coming in garbage time. Keenum has more interceptions this season than he has touchdowns, and already has more interceptions than he had all of last year in Minnesota.

The Broncos have one of the best 1-2 punches in the NFL in the run game between rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, but it’s hard to really get them going when consistently playing from behind.

At wide receiver, Courtland Sutton is a blossoming star and Emmanuel Sanders is playing like Pro Bowler, but Demaryius Thomas has been nowhere to be found.

Prediction: Broncos win 24-10

Vance Joseph gets to keep his job for another week. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have their best game together as a edge-rush duo causing McCoy to be looking for a new job during the middle of the season once again.

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference and NFL.com.

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