HALFTIME: The teams headed to half with the Cardinals leading 20-0. The Broncos will kick off to start the second half shortly.
KICKOFF: Matt Prater kicks off the the Broncos to start the second half. The kick sails out of the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The second-team defense continues to play for the Broncos and the Cardinals stick with their second-team offense except for quarterback Brodie Croyle. Powell gets the first carry, three yards up the middle. He then finds room on the left side as he dashes between and around a few blocks for a 20-yard carry and first down at Arizona’s 43-yard line. Powell continues to get carries, rushing up the middle for 6 yards and off the right side for a loss of 2 yards as Hunter wraps him up. That brings up third-and-5 and Croyle goes in the shotgun. He fires a quick pass over the middle to Nichols for 11 yards and a first down.
Q3 11:35: With the ball on Denver’s 42-yard line, Croyle throws his second pass in a row, this time to Stephen Williams for a 9-yard pickup. Powell gets the carry on second-and-1, but he is gang tackled in the backfield for a loss of 4. On third-and-6, Croyle throws the ball in the flat to Powell, but the pass is long and incomplete. Punter Ben Graham comes on and aims for the left corner, which he does and the Cardinals down the ball at the Broncos’ 6-yard line for a 31-yard punt.
Q3 9:55: Tim Tebow comes in at quarterback for the Broncos to commander the second-team offense with running back Jeremiah Johnson. On first down, Johnson runs for a 2-yard gain, then Tebow keeps it after sitting in the pocket for a few seconds, and runs out of bounds for 8 yards and a first down. Johnon then goes off right tackle for a 4-yard gain. On second-and-6, Johnson gets the ball again and is able to get 1 yard up the middle. Tebow comes out in the shotgun on third-and-5, steps up in the pocket, but it collapses and he’s sacked by Will Davis and Jeremy Navarre. Colquitt jogs on the field and sends a 46-yard punt to Green, who returns it 2 yards to the Arizona 37.
Q3 6:55: Croyle begins the drive in the shotgun, and throws a pass out to the right for Nichols. Vaughn gets in front of the receiver’s vision and barely misses tipping the ball away. Nichols was able to hold on and run for of 27 yards down the right sideline. Powell gets the carry 3 yards up the middle, and on second-and-7, Arizona takes a timeout with the playclock winding down.
Q3 5:25: Powell gets the carry coming out of the timeout and is tackled by Carter, who comes around the end and gets him from behind, for a loss of one. On third-and-6, the Cardinals tried to set up a screen pass for Powell, but the Broncos are able to get solid pressure and Croyle’s rushed pass falls incomplete. There is a penalty on the play for illegal use of hands to the face by the Cardinals that the Broncos decline to bring up fourth down. Feely comes out to try a 52-yard field goal, leans into it, and nails it with a few yards to spare.
CARDINALS 23, BRONCOS 0
Q3 4:35: On the ensuing kickoff, Feely boots it out of the back of the end zone and the Broncos will take over on their 20-yard line.
Q3 4:34: Brandon Minor is in the game for the first time and gets his first carry, a solid 8-yard run up the middle. Tebow hands off to Minor again and the running back runs 4 yards to pick up a first down behind the third-team offensive line, which is in. After a Tebow incomplete pass, Minor rushes up the middle for 3 yards to bring up third-and-7. Tebow, in the shotgun, scrambles out of the pocket to his left and throws across his body down the middle of the field to David Anderson, who is hammered by Abdullah, but who holds on for the 17-yard completion.
Q3 1:23: On first-and-10 from Arizona’s 48-yard line, Minor rushes up the middle for a yard then Tebow is a bit long on a pass intended for Greg Orton. On third-and-9, Tebow finds Gronkowski for a 5-yard completion and Prater jogs on to attempt a 60-yard field goal. He leans into it, and it has enough leg, but is a few yards wide right.
Q3 0:27: Arizona takes over at midfield, and Derrick Harvey stops Powell for a loss of 1 to bring us to the end of the third quarter.
Q4 15:00: The Cardinals start the fourth quarter just on their side of midfield at the 49 yard line. Croyle looks for fullback Reagan Maui’a in the right flat but overthrows him and it’s now third-and-11. Croyle comes back the next play with a pass across the middle to Spach for a 11-yard catch and run which is just enough for a first down. Croyle starts the new set of downs with the exact same pass to Maui’a he tried the first time, this one complete for 7 yards to the Broncos’ 33.
Q4 12:37: After Jeremy Beal tackles Powell for a 2-yard loss, Croyle finds Spach for a first down. Powell gets the first down carry and finds some space through the middle for 13 yards down to Denver’s 15-yard line. The Cardinals come right back to him again, this time he’s stuffed by McBean for a loss of 1 yard. On second-and-11, Croyle looks for Stephen Skelton who snuck behind linebackers Mike Mohamed and Lee Robinson, but the pass is a little behind Skelton and goes through his hands.
Q4 10:29: On third-and-11, the Cardinals are called for a false start to push them back to the Broncos’ 21-yard line. Croyle comes out in the shotgun with four wide receivers, throws to Powell in the flat for 5 yards, bringing on Feely for a 34-yard field goal attempt. The kick is through the uprights for three points.
CARDINALS 26, BRONCOS 0
Q4 9:50: Feely hits a line drive grounder on the kickoff, which Cox fields at the 8-yard line and runs 24 yards before being tackled at the 32.
Q4 9:43: Tebow hands off to Minor on first down, who cuts back and picks up 8 yards, but the play is called back due to a holding penalty. On first-and-20, Tebow is tripped up in the backfield by Will Davis before being sacked by Cyril Obiozor. Tebow picks up an errant snap on second-and-26, scrambles right and throws it away. That brings up third-and-26 as Tebow gets the clean snap in the shotgun and hands it off to Minor, who runs up the middle on the draw for a 15-yard gain. That brings Colquitt on, who kicks a 47-yard punt to Green who returns it 1 yard to the Cardinals’ 23-yard line.
Q4 7:50: Arizona comes out of the TV timeout with a 6-yard run up the middle from Powell. The running back comes right back with another 6-yard gain up the middle for a first down. The Cardinals give Powell his third straight carry, but Brandon Bing is able to get to him at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Powell continues to get the ball as he tries to go off right tackle, but is stopped by Mitch Unrein for just a gain of 1 yard to bring up third-and-8. Croyle throws it this time, looking for Stephen Williams deep down the right sideline, but the throw is too long and Arizona has to punt. Graham’s punt lands on the 5-yard line, and pretty much stops there as the Cardinals down it at the 6.
Q4 4:33: The Broncos come out of the TV timeout with Tebow firing a pass to D’Andre Goodwin along the left sideline. Goodwin makes a couple nice juke moves and picks up 13 yards. Tebow comes back to Goodwin on the next play, this time finding him deep down the right sideline for 26 yards after getting some time in the pocket. On first down from their own 45, the Broncos try a screen pass to Johnson, but he is tackled for no gain. Tebow tries to find Johnson again on second down over the middle, but the pass is behind him. On third-and-10, Tebow comes out in the shotgun with three wide, and completes a pass to Eron Riley on a hook route on the right sideline for a 13-yard gain and first down.
Q4 2:57: On the ensuing play, Tebow gets solid protection and fires a perfect deep pass to Riley, who catches it 1-yard from the end zone in stride for the 43-yard touchdown. Tebow jumps into the arms of his linemen and Prater comes on to kick the extra point as Denver gets on the board. That completes a six-play, 94 yard drive.
CARDINALS 26, BRONCOS 7
Q4 2:56: After Prater kicks another touchback, Arizona takes over on its own 20-yard line and Robinson tackles Powell for a 4-yard loss. The Broncos use their first timeout as it brings up second-and-16. Croyle comes out and completes a pass to Isaiah Williams on the left side for 5 yards and Head Coach John Fox uses his second timeout.
Q4 2:42: On third-and-9, the Cardinals come out in the shotgun with four wide. Croyle, finds Nichols, who breaks a tackle before being chased down by Unrein after a 12-yard gain. That brings up first down at the Cardinals 33-yard line and brings us to the two-minute warning.
Q4 2:00: Powell gets the carry coming out of the two-minute warning, and is tackled for a loss of 3 yards by David Bruton, who’s been back after suffering an injury in the first half. On second-and-13, Croyle throws a pass over Isaiah Williams’ head. Croyle comes back and throws to Spach over the middle for a 10-yard gain to bring up fourth-and-3 and the punting units come out. However, Arizona brings the playclock down to one second before calling a 30-second timeout.
Q4 1:03: Graham’s 43-yard punt is downed at the 16-yard line and Adam Weber comes out at quarterback for his first professional snaps. He’s subsequently sacked by Campbell for 9 yards as Campbell comes upmarked off the edge. But Weber comes right back and throws a 10-yard pass to Riley, who breaks a tackle and runs 89 yards down the field before being pushed out at the Cardinals 4-yard line. With 12 seconds left, the offense takes a delay of game penalty and then a false start to push the team back to the 14-yard line. Weber takes a clean snap, looks around, can’t find anybody, and takes off towards the right pylon before cutting back to the middle. He avoids one tackle but is brought down at the 1-yard line to end the game.
CARDINALS 26, BRONCOS 7:
That concludes the last preseason game of 2011. The Cardinals beat the Broncos 26-7. Be sure to check denverbroncos.com tonight and tomorrow for all the postgame coverage. The Broncos have a reprieve until their first regular season game on Monday, Sept. 12 at home against the Oakland Raiders.