Aug 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) and Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely (3) shake hands following the preseason game at Sports Authority Field. The Cardinals defeated the Broncos 32-24. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off the bye in week four the Arizona Cardinals will head to the mile high state of Colorado to play the high powered offense of the Denver Broncos lead of course by veteran star quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Cardinals have never fared well against Manning in the past as he has shredded their defense as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
Manning is 2-0 against the Cardinals in his career completing 65.9% of his passes for 336 yards and a quarter-back rating of 127. He also had four touchdowns and only one pick, and the only reason its not more yardage and touchdowns is because the games were over by half time. So the Cardinals defense will have it”s collective hands full.
As mentioned several times this summer, the Cards are without the middle line-backer that was a staple to their defense, in fact if the Cards had Washington they could pose such a threat to the Broncos as the Seahawks did in the super-bowl last year.
Reality is that Washington will not be their and Manning has two really good tight ends, Julius Thomas and Jacob Tammy. Thomas being the biggest threat as he had 65 receptions for 788 yards and a whopping 12 touchdowns,both he and Tammy are threats in the red-zone. Facing a depleted line-backing crew would indicate this will be a long day for the secondary.
The only hope would be that someone would emerge from the defense that can generate pressure and get to Manning before he can release the ball, and that is easier said than done, but the Cards do have potential talent to rush the QB. If the Cardinals can cause that pressure then they will be able to stay close in this game.
Manning usually starts his regular seasons very hot and puts up a lot of points in that spread offense, and it does not matter who the receivers are. The Broncos lost a weapon in Eric Decker to free agency, but will not miss a beat because it was Manning and the scheme that made Decker and others like him a success.
This is a tough game to prepare for coming off of the bye, and that will not help the Birds in this case, because there is no scenario that would suggest that they would win this game in Denver early in the season. So this will be a Denver run away by two touchdowns at the least.
The loss will drop the Cardinals to 500 at (2-2) , and it will be a hard task for the secondary to hold up all day unless a miracle happens.