Fox Sports and the NFL spent a lot of money advertising the improved lineup of Thursday Night Football games this season, but there is little they can do to spice up the appeal of this week’s matchup.
Denver and Arizona have mustered just three wins between them, and their records don’t reflect how ugly it has been. Both head coaches are feeling some heat, although Arizona’s Steve Wilks deserves more than a season to correct the disaster in the desert.
NFL Week 7 Game Preview
Vance Joseph might end up paying the price for one of his boss’ offseason miscalculations. Case Keenum has more interceptions than touchdowns right now, and his seven picks are more than he threw in all of 2017. Emmanuel Sanders is the only receiver clicking with the Broncos’ new signal caller.
If there is a bright spot in Denver, it is their rookie running backs. Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay continue to impress. Lindsay emerged as the lead back, with Freeman adeptly handling the tough running near the goal line.
Arizona cardinals has a runner who used to be talked about the way Denver’s duo is today. David Johnson missed last season with a wrist injury but predicted he would total 1000 rushing yards and a 1000 receiving yards in his 2018 return.
His coach had other ideas, under-utilizing his stud rusher despite glaring deficiencies in the passing and receiving game. This would be a good week to cut Johnson loose as the Denver defense is the only unit in the league with a worse record against the run than the Cardinals.
Injuries and moves:
Arizona lists four offensive linemen as questionable. That includes starting guard Justin Pugh, who might have a broken hand. Tackle DJ Humphries and guards Mike Lupati and Jeremy Vujnovitch are also questionable.
Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald (back) and JJ Nelson (back), as well as tight end Jeremy Gresham (achilles) were all limited in practice.
Six defensive team members are also listed as questionable for the Cardinals, including both starting safeties and a pair of defensive ends.
Broncos guard Ronald Leary tore an achilles tendon last week and is done for the season. Tackle Jared Veldheer is also questionable for Thursday night.
Tight end Matt LaCosse left last week’s game early and is questionable for this week.
Cornerback Adam Jones and linebacker Shane Ray are also questionable for the Broncos.
Neither Vance Joseph and Steve Wilks is escaping local media and fans’ wrath so far. Wilks said early on he was unimpressed with seniority and will play the men working hardest each week.
But while a few of his preseason decisions raised eyebrows, his latest veteran sit-down has people questioning why he waited as long as he did. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen gives the Cardinals a better chance to run the offense behind a shaky offensive line than a near-stationary Sam Bradford can. Why did Bradford even start the season?
Joseph got a second year to prove injuries and bad quarterbacking had more to do with last year’s Broncos disappointment than his coaching. Keenum is not playing great, but he did lead a playoff team last season. The coach’s seat is getting hotter each week in Denver.
How to watch the Cardinals vs Broncos game
Fox Sports and the NFL Network will broadcast this game nationally as part of the Thursday Night Football package.
Millions of savvy Americans will watch the live stream NFL game on internet television providers like Sling TV and Fubo TV. These NFL fans cut the cord with their expensive cable and satellite providers to take advantage of the low-cost monthly subscriptions offered by internet TV services with no contract.
Fubo TV and Sling, as well as DirecTV Now and YouTube TV, provide the live stream feed from FoxSports and the NFL Network in high definition to practically any internet-connected device. Check out their websites to see what they offer in your neighborhood.
Who will win the Cardinals-Broncos game?
Denver has advantages in several positions, including the more experienced quarterback and stronger overall defense. They are coming off a stellar effort against the undefeated Rams.
But… strange things happen in Thursday night games. Look for the Broncos defense to let down against the young Cardinals. Then watch Josh Rosen’s coming out party.
Final score: Cardinals 27 Broncos 19