The NFL Preseason wraps up tonight, which means that we are only one week away from the start of the regular season. The first game of the season will feature the Denver Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. The excitement and anticipation is building, as we count down the days until kickoff of the regular season. Before opening night, there is some preseason football and the start of college football to get to tonight.
It’s been a rather uneventful preseason in the NFL, but the dangers of practice and preseason games came to the forefront this past week. Teddy Bridgewater dislocated his knee and tore an ACL, which will signal the end of his year before it even began. It’s a shame it happened, because there were going to be a lot of curious eyes on Bridgewater to see if he could follow up last season. Shaun Hill will have to step in as the starter due to the unfortunate turn of events.
The Denver Broncos are ready for the start of the regular season. They just want to get things going now, as Denver has already announced a starting quarterback. Trevor Siemian will get the nod at the starting quarterback position. It’s slightly surprising from what everybody was thinking a few weeks ago. Mark Sanchez appeared to be the guy, but Siemian put together a nice training camp and preseason to overtake the veteran. If Siemian fails to produce over the first few weeks of the season, things are going to start to get interesting in Denver. There has been a rumor that the Vikings are looking at a trade for Sanchez. We’ll see what comes of that, but as it stands now, Sanchez is a Denver Bronco.
The Broncos make the trek to Arizona to conclude the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have had a rather uninspiring preseason. However, it’s only preseason so there isn’t any need to sound the alarm. The Cardinals will open the season at home on SNF against the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots. A great chance to get their confidence up, while taking advantage of the Pats while they’re without Brady. Remember than Week 4 of the preseason is essentially a wash for the starters. Look for them to get one series and then head for the bench.
The Broncos should be able to get a good look at their recent draft pick, quarterback Paxton Lynch. Lynch might take 90% to 100% of the snaps tonight against the Cardinals. This might not be an important game for starters, but for guys like Lynch and others trying to make the team, it’s their final chance to impress.
Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Preseason Betting Odds:
vs. Cardinals -4(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Broncos vs. Cardinals Pick:
There really isn’t any reason for the Cardinals to put Carson Palmer in action tonight. We know what we’re getting with Palmer and he’s had ample experience in the NFL. Backup Drew Stanton doesn’t exactly need much warmup in the fourth game of the preseason either. Stanton has been around since 2008 and has been the king of the preseason. This is his time to shine. Stanton did need to step in as a starter in 2014 though, throwing for 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions to keep the Cardinals held together.
The Cardinals know what they have with Stanton too, which is a solid backup to Carson Palmer. An injury to Stanton would hurt, as the Cardinals would be an injury away to Palmer where they would be searching for a new quarterback or start Matt Barkley. So, the Cardinals are wising up and will hand the keys to Barkley for the entire fourth game of the season. Barkley will see action from the opening snap to the end.
The former USC product has an arm, but I have a major problem with his ability in the pocket. He will often stand there like a lame duck and just stand there, without moving up in the pocket, or being aware of his surroundings to turn a dire situation into a gain. Keeping the ball in his hands too long was a problem I noticed when he was in college and he did it a few times last week against the Houston Texans. The only play I saw him make was when a wide receiver was wide open on a busted coverage.
The Cardinals are 4 point favorites in this matchup. I can’t say I agree with that line. I see this an even game, with 2 or 3 points going to the home team. Thus, the Cards should be a field goal favorite, not 4 points. This game should result in a 3 point win for one side. However, I could also see some stupid stuff happening at the end of the game which gives the Cardinals a touchdown to cover. Lynch and Barkley do not impress me in the least. They didn’t in college and don’t now. Lynch put up big numbers in college against a creampuff schedule. In the NFL everything looks too fast for him. I think the way to go tonight in this one is the UNDER 37.5.
PICK: UNDER 37.5 POINTS (-110)