Cincinnati.com
National Football League
Preview
Denver at Arizona
When: 8:20 PM ET, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos went shopping in the offseason to fix their respective quarterback issues and came away with a pair of players who spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings. Neither move has panned out for the Cardinals and Broncos, a pair of teams who have a collective three wins entering Thursday's matchup at Arizona.

Denver has dropped four in a row since opening the season with a pair of narrow victories at home, but Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller all but guaranteed a win over the Cardinals. “I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win, we’re going to kick their (butt), though," Miller told reporters Tuesday. "Make sure you put that up there. We’re going to kick their (butt).” Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, who supplanted Sam Bradford as the starter in Week 3, said their was no "sense of desperation" to win after his team's 1-5 start, but first-year coach Steve Wilks disagreed. "I would say all our jobs are in jeopardy, including mine, if we don't win," Wilks said.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Cardinals -1.5. O/U: 41.5

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2-4): Denver has to tighten up against the run, ranking last in the league with an average of 161.3 yards permitted on the ground after allowing a 200-yard rusher for the second straight week in a 23-20 loss to the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams. The Broncos' pass rush did generate five sacks in the latest setback, including 3.0 by rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb. Case Keenum threw scoring passes to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on Sunday but still has more interceptions (8) than TDs (7) through the first six games. Rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman were held to a combined 40 yards on 13 carries last week.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (1-5): Arizona ranks last in the league in total yards (220.5) and rushing (64.0) under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was fired by the Broncos during the 2017 season following a six-game slide. Rosen did throw for a career-high 240 yards but failed to throw a touchdown pass in last week's 27-17 loss at Minnesota. Rosen connected with fellow rookie Christian Kirk six times for 77 yards against the Vikings, but running back David Johnson has surpassed 55 yards rushing just once in six games despite scoring six touchdowns. The offensive woes are magnified by a defense that ranks 31st against the run by surrendering an average of 151.2 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Denver has won eight of the past nine meetings against the Cardinals.

2. Johnson has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in nine of his last 11 at home, scoring 13 TDs in that span.

3. Miller has 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his last six games versus NFC opponents.

PREDICTION: Broncos 23, Cardinals 20
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Denver 2-4 L4 20.0 25.7 2-2 0-2 2-2 0-0 - - 1-3
Arizona 1-5 L1 13.7 23.2 0-3 1-2 1-4 0-0 - - 1-5
Last Meeting
Denver Arizona
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
8/30/18 DEN 21 ARI 10 347 100 247 162 84 78
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Denver Z. Anderson 0.0 0 0 0
Arizona C. Agudosi 0.0 0 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Denver Z. Anderson 0 0 0.0 0
Arizona C. Agudosi 0 0 0.0 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Denver Z. Anderson 0 0 0.0 0
Arizona C. Agudosi 0 0 0.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Denver Z. Anderson 0
Arizona C. Agudosi 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Denver C. Keenum 63.1 1687 7 8
Arizona J. Rosen 55.6 626 2 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Denver P. Lindsay 61 346 5.7 1
Arizona D. Johnson 92 297 3.2 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Denver E. Sanders 40 501 12.5 2
Arizona C. Kirk 25 311 12.4 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Denver R. Freeman 3
Arizona D. Johnson 6