Arizona Cardinals: Three Keys To Beating Denver Broncos


Sep 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) calls plays against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With the Arizona Cardinals 3-0 to start the season, everyone is wondering if they are for real or are they a pretender.  After all, they’ve been here before.  Everyone wants to compare this start with the 2012 team that started 4-0.  They are two completely different teams though.  Now they face the Denver Broncos and not many are giving them a chance.  They can be beat though.  Here’s how.

1. Defense:  It starts and ends with the defense.  The Cards can put up as many points as they want but against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, it doesn’t matter unless you play some defense.  Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles indicated that he was planning on blitzing Manning 25 to 30 percent of the time.  Cards are good at blitzing but Manning is better playing against it.  He can beat you with quick reads.  Limit the blitzes, tackle well, and contain tight end Julius Thomas and receiver Emmanuel Sanders.  If you can keep them in front of you, you have a chance.

2. Ball control:  The Cards will try the quick score and take their chances at times throwing the deep ball but for the most part if you want to limit the Broncos offense, the Cards offense needs to hold on to the ball.  That means a good balance of run and pass.

3. Touchdowns, not field goals:  Many teams you can get away with kicking field goals and not scoring touchdowns.  The Cards have seen it already this season.  That won’t fly in Denver.  I’m not saying field goals won’t hurt you but if you’re in the red zone and you’re the Cards today, you must score touchdowns.