Cardinals 43 Broncos 13
It's gotten to the point that kickers are making the Broncos look bad. Jay "Wheels" Feely trots into the end zone in a Cardinals rout of the Broncos.
So, McDaniels is gone, but the horrid stench of his aura is clearly still very much on the team. When a team fires their head coach during mid-season, they can either get a bounce out of it, or become a totally deflated group of players who just don't care. The Vikings and Cowboys got the bounce, it look like the Broncos are deflate city, though. In what may have been the most meaningless regular season game in NFL history, the Broncos acted like they really couldn't be bothered to put on a professional appearance. Seriously, the Broncos were nearly beaten singlehandedly by a kicker. (Nice wheels, by the way, Jay Feely)
This game felt more like a presason matchup, only there was apparently even less on the line. Adding to the preseason feel, the Cardinals even started John Skelton, a quarterback drafted in the fifth round who began the year as a 4th stringer. Then Skelton outplayed his counterpart Orton. The Broncos came out against a dreadful team in Arizona and got blown out. Kyle Orton, one of the few brights spots of this overmatched and undertalented team, just gave up today. His heart wasn't in it, and neither was his head, and by the end he was just tossing up interceptions on a platter. The final pick which was returned for six had the look of someone who didn't care what happened to the ball he threw. Orton's aim was off, he was out of sync with the new playcaller Mike McCoy, and it just was a terrible day for the Broncos quarterback.
The defense also played terribly, tackling poorly and generally looking completely lost on the field. When you're getting blasted by the Cardinals offense, you're clearly not giving it your best. The Broncos weren't getting beaten by the 1989 49ers out there, this was a team that had not scored a touchdown in 9 quarters before their kicker ran one in against the Broncos.
There were two bright spots in a sea of darkness. The first was running back Knowshon Moreno, who is blossoming into a legit NFL back on this team that the world has justly forgotten about. The second is Champ Bailey, the cornerback who is likely playing in his final weeks in Denver. Those two played well, the rest of this disaster played like a team that could not possibly care any less.
Puzzling to me is why the Broncos decided to not play Tim Tebow. The season is over, and they were getting blown out. I would have started him to find out what you have and at least put these final few games to some constructive purpose, but after falling way behind, what would be the shame in putting him in and letting him get a little experience? He really needs to get some playing time in these meaningless final few games, it makes zero sense to not at least let him face a few live rounds of action and see how he responds. Plus, it's about the only card the team can play to keep the fans interested, and there is zero buzz around this city for the Broncos right now. Hopefully they start Tebow next week in Oakland, Seriously, why not at this point?
So, the city of Denver is left with a football team that doesn't appear interested in competing, and really...it might be for the best. Losing the remaining games can only help with draft positioning, and really, would anyone in Orange feel better about 6-10 as opposed to 3-13? I'm not used to having a month left in the season and having it not matter at all. Lack of hope is hard to take as a football fan. I'm still a Broncos fan, of course, but let's just say I'm not sticking my chest out about it these days.