2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things about Cardinals, Broncos in preseason

By PAT GRAHAM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:16

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos quarterback directed the offense to near perfection and hit receivers in stride all night.

Only this wasn't Peyton Manning running the show but his backup and understudy Brock Osweiler. The second-year player out of Arizona State threw for 108 yards in a 32-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night to close out the preseason.

His favorite target? Former Sun Devil teammate Gerell Robinson, of course, who finished with five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. A boost of confidence for both, especially Osweiler.

``I am way more comfortable this year than I was last year,'' Osweiler said. ``If my number gets called, hopefully I can step in and the team won't skip a beat.''

---

5 things we know about the Cardinals from the preseason:

1. CROWDED BACKFIELD: Arizona has five solid running backs and coach Bruce Arians is hoping to keep them all on the roster. Ryan Williams ran nine times for 25 yards and a touchdown on Thursday in his most extensive action since returning last week from a knee injury suffered early in training camp. Rashard Mendenhall was held out of the exhibition finale but led the way with 47 yards on 6 rushes the week before against the San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals others running backs are Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington. ``They can all play,'' Arians said.

2. PALMER'S POISE: After struggling at quarterback last season, the Cardinals may have finally found a solution in veteran Carson Palmer. He was solid all preseason, completing 52 percent of his passes. He also threw two TDs and no interceptions.

3. BETTER WITH AGE: Larry Fitzgerald has accomplished a lot in the NFL before his 30th birthday, which arrives on Saturday. He has the most receptions by a player before 30 (764) and second-most yards receiving (10,413). By his standards, Fitzgerald had a down 2012 with 71 catches and a career-low four TDs. An integral part of the Cardinals' offense, Fitzgerald is starting to develop a rapport with Palmer. He had nine catches for 99 yards in the preseason.

4. MORE PETERSON: The Cardinals are hoping to get defensive back and punt returner Patrick Peterson on the field even more, with possibly more snaps on the offensive side. That could keep opposing coaches up late at night since Peterson's already a handful as a punter returner and as a cover corner. He had a team-leading seven interceptions last season.

5. MELDING TOGETHER: From coach to quarterback, the Cardinals have plenty of new faces. In all, more than half of the roster wasn't with Arizona last season. Arians is attempting to blend it all together, especially on offense. ``I think we have a very good handle on it,'' Arians said. ``My job now is to streamline it to where there is no thinking involved.''

---

And 5 things we know about the Broncos:

1. MANNING THE MAESTRO: Manning certainly won't be bashful about calling pass plays this season. Not that he ever has been. The four-time NFL MVP is more comfortable than a season ago when he began his comeback from a series of neck surgeries that affected a nerve in his throwing arm. He's vowed to play at an even faster tempo, meaning more tosses to targets such as Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and his newest weapon, Wes Welker.

2. UNSETTLED BACKFIELD: Neither Ronnie Hillman nor Montee Ball ran away with the running back competition in training camp. Hillman had a solid preseason, but had fumbling issues. The rookie Ball didn't exactly shine on pass blocking - and keeping Manning well protected remains a high priority. That could open the door for veteran Knowshon Moreno, who's a reliable blocker and ball carrier.

3. VON GONE: For six games, the Broncos must find a way to generate a pass rush without Pro Bowler Von Miller as the talented defensive end/linebacker serves his suspension for violating the NFL's drug-abuse policy. While Miller is out, Shaun Phillips and Nate Irving will try to pick up the slack. Miller had 18 1/2 sacks last season.

4. SAFETY DANCE: The Broncos have shuffled around a lot of safeties in camp, but Rahim Moore is not one of them. Moore appears to have held on to his starting position, while also putting the memories of last season's blown coverage in a playoff loss to Baltimore behind him. Vying to play alongside Moore in the secondary is Duke Ihenacho. Mike Adams is in the mix, too.

5. THREE AMIGOS: Decker, Thomas and Welker are trying to be the next installment of the ``Three Amigos,'' a moniker once given to the Broncos trio of Ricky Nattiel, Vance Johnson and Mark Jackson. That version had John Elway throwing to them. This current crop has a pretty good QB, too.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group