August 26, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to throw the ball during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Tonight is the final preseason game for the Arizona Cardinals against the Denver Broncos. Almost all the starters for both sides will be sitting this one out. Game time is at 8pm.
I had the chance to briefly chat with Predominately Orange’s Kim Constantino about the Broncos and a little about the game tonight.
RZ: How has Peyton Manning looked so far for the Broncos this preseason? Any chance he can take the Broncos farther than Tebow?
PO: Although Manning has more interceptions than touchdowns in preseason, his arm looks good. People were making too big a deal out of him losing arm strength, but I don’t see it that way. The funny thing is in ’09-’10, he had just a 30% completion rate on passes over 21 yards, yet he threw for 4,500 yards that season. That goes to show that he can still be effective even when he’s not throwing the deep ball. He’s as accurate as ever and he’s a coach on the field, directing plays at the line. The Broncos shouldn’t have a problem wining the AFC West this year, assuming everyone stays healthy.
RZ: Is Eric Decker really going to be the hot commodity everyone is making him out to be?
PO: Decker worked with Manning more than any other wide receiver this off season, and it’s already showing. Manning’s first and only touchdown passes were to Decker. Manning has never had as big a receiver as Decker (6’3″, 218 pounds) or Demaryius Thomas (6’3″, 229 pounds), so I think we’re in for a real treat this season. If you’re putting a fantasy team together this year, selecting Decker early on is a safe bet.
RZ: Who should Cardinals fans keep their eye on Thursday night seeing as Denver isn’t playing any starters either?
PO: Keep an eye on rookie running back Ronnie Hillman. He hasn’t gotten much of an audition since he’s been injured for most of preseason, but he’s a Darren Sproles-type guy with good speed and good lateral quickness. Hillman will be a great complimentary back for Willis McGahee.
RZ: As an outsider, what is your perception of the Arizona Cardinals and their quarterback situation?
PO: My take is the Cardinals are making this into a Rubix cube situation when really there are only two options. Being undecided about the starting QB only hurts the team as the regular season approaches. One guy needs more reps in practice and needs to have his teammates looking to him as a leader. I guess that’s what happens when neither player does enough to win the job, though.
RZ: What is your prediction for Thursday night?
PO: Broncos – 24 Cardinals – 21