The Denver Broncos thrashed the Arizona Cardinals 45-10 to end a four-game losing streak in the NFL on Thursday.
Before the matchup that brought the Broncos south of the Grand Canyon, Von Miller promised a win. He used more colourful language, but in short said Denver would travel back to the Mile High City with a win.
He was certainly right about that, as the Broncos thumped the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
There was a lot at stake when these two teams met in the desert, and it was more than inching towards a winning record.
There was plenty of talk regarding both teams' coaching staffs. Denver's Vance Joseph, who was on the verge of losing his job last year, has been anything but impressive at the start of his second season. Arizona's Steven Wilks is manning a one-win team that have yet to turn their season around, and he has not shied away from saying the entire staff's jobs were in question.
Joseph will breathe a little bit easier this week while Wilks will be looking for something, anything to help the Cardinals, who are led by rookie quarterback Josh Rosen.
One defense showed up, the other never took the field
It was a matchup of the worsts. The NFL's two worst run defenses faced each other in Arizona, and if you did not know any better you could have thought the defensive pairing was a mismatch.
One defense, Denver's, showed up. The Broncos had two pick-sixes in the first quarter alone. Meanwhile, Arizona's unit looked as if it did not even take the field. While the Broncos defense put up points to bolster their lead, the offense took the field and ran the score up against the struggling Cardinals.
While quarterback Case Keenum continued to tear apart the defense, all eyes were on the run game.
Denver utilised their backs and ran around, through and over Arizona. The Broncos, however, were able to stop the run and held the Cardinals to just 69 yards. Arizona needed to use fourth-year running back David Johnson, but the duo of Todd Davis and Justin Simmons combined to top the Broncos' defensive list with 17 total tackles as they limited Johnson to just 39 yards rushing.
This win for Denver doesn't hold much weight
After losing four consecutive games, the next contest was a must win for Denver. But, a blowout over a 1-6 team is not the toughest test.
The Broncos will at least have one road win when they travel to face the Chiefs and Kansas City's young gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, but if Denver want to start a new winning streak they will have to step it up a few more levels.
Defensively, the Broncos did nearly everything well. They applied pressure to the rookie, and tallied six sacks in the process. The Broncos grabbed five takeaways in their efforts, as well, including a late strip stack by Miller. He totalled four tackles, two sacks and the recovery.
Offensively, Denver exploited Arizona's struggles. The Broncos finished the game with 309 total yards, 131 of those were on the ground. Their 35 points in the first half were the most by a Denver team since week 10 of 2010. Keenum was 14-of-21 passing for 161 yards and two touchdowns and an interception.
It is a performance the Broncos will desperately need to repeat if they want any chance against the Chiefs.
Josh Rosen's struggles extend beyond rookie woes
Rookies get nervous and in Rosen's primetime debut there was a lot to be nervous about.
The rookie was lining up against a Denver defense loaded with Pro Bowl talent, and needed all the help he could get from an offensive unit and their coaches. Rosen found some solace in veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who caught Arizona's only touchdown pass, but could not find much comfort elsewhere.
This is no surprise, as the Cardinals entered the game with the worst total offense, rushing offense, first-down percentage and third-down conversion rate in the NFL. None of this falls solely on the shoulders of Rosen, who started his first game in week four. The orchestrator, Mike McCoy, has not made the 10th overall draft pick's transition successful.
McCoy joined the Arizona organisation after being let go from Denver's team midway through last season. He is facing the same fate with the Cardinals if he cannot make it work in weeks to come.
|Warner picks up elbow injury in Bangladesh|
|Mkhitaryan returning to Arsenal training next week|
|Leeds United pounce for Real Madrid goalkeeper Casilla|
|Watson lights up Gabba before power cut forces abandonment|
|Superb Serena blows Bouchard away|
|Tevez, Hulk, Oscar, Lavezzi - how the CSL stars Dembele is following to China fared|
|Thiem retires from Australian Open|
|Osaka ´not telling´ when it comes to injury niggle|
|Fabinho enjoying Klopp´s management style|
|Halep battles past Kenin in Melbourne|
|Hartley to miss England´s Six Nations opener|
|Dembele departs Spurs for Guangzhou R&F|
|Nacho convinced Isco remains important to Real Madrid|
|Warriors star Curry sets NBA record|
|Raonic survives four-hour marathon against Wawrinka|
|Osaka powers through to Aus Open third round|
|Irving dominates in Celtics´ win over Raptors|
|Irving called LeBron this week to apologise|
|Ajax star De Jong wants to resolve future ´quickly´|
|Payton on Rams CB Peters: I have great respect for him|
|Rockets star Harden matches Chamberlain with historic performances|
|Nishikori survives Karlovic test in Melbourne|
|Vieira reunion felt really weird - Henry|
|´#BetAgainstUs´ - Edelman and Pats embracing underdog status|
|Van der Vaart: Isco the best player in the world|
|I haven´t seen Guardiola or Klopp do that – Lampard unhappy with Bielsa|
|Real Madrid always play to win, insists Casemiro|
|Royals pitcher Skoglund suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs|
|Ronaldo and Juve celebrate Supercoppa Italiana title with Mayweather|
|We are not going to talk about Morata - Simeone reluctant to discuss striker|
|Madrid weak in Leganes loss, says Solari|
|Bologna and Banvit seal Champions League play-off spots|
|LeBron James to miss Thunder & Rockets games but nearing practice return|
|Leganes 1 Real Madrid 0 (1-3 agg): Isco starts as Solari´s side go through despite defeat|
|NFL playoffs 2019: X-factor for each NFC team|
|Mahomes: Chiefs must not repeat mistakes against Patriots|
|Higuain´s Supercoppa benching due to virus, says Milan boss Gattuso|
|Brown fires back at Arians over ´diva´ comments|
|Stone heading home from West Indies tour with back injury|
|Shazier will continue rehab with intention of playing again|
|That´s why we signed him! Allegri hails Supercoppa match-winner Ronaldo|
|Monaco on worst home run in club´s history after Nice draw|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Girona 3 (4-4 agg): Simeone´s side out on away goals|
|Gregg Williams is Jets´ new defensive coordinator|
|Ronaldo: Supercoppa triumph just the start for Juve|
|Monaco confirm Batshuayi talks|
|You know more than me! Bielsa´s Barcelona research surprised Guardiola|
|Juventus 1 AC Milan 0: Ronaldo heads Bianconeri to Supercoppa glory|
|Kane injury cannot be excuse for Tottenham – Pochettino|
|Woods to open 2019 schedule at Torrey Pines|
|Reported Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical|
|Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history|
|MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta|
|WBC set deadline for Wilder-Fury rematch|
|Iran 0 Iraq 0: Team Melli top Group D after dull draw|
|Vietnam 2 Yemen 0: Quang Hai shines to give Golden Dragons hope|
|Bielsa admits to spying on all Leeds´ opponents|
|Valverde open to arrivals amid De Jong tug-of-war|
|Sexton named in Ireland squad for Six Nations openers|
|Higuain benched for Supercoppa Italiana amid Chelsea links|
|De Grandhomme, Latham and Santner back in Black Caps squad|
|Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to ´score as many as possible´|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Cuper not distracted by potential last-16 opponents|
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|