September 4 2009, 8:58 AM
Just a few short days ago, I wrote that the Denver Broncos couldn't have looked much worse than they did against the Chicago Bears. Fast forward to last night's game against the Arizona Cardinals, when the team took a nearly 180-degree turn. Rookie third-string quarterback Tom Brandstater was 16-30 for 187 yards, leading his team 19-0 over the Cardinals (via Sports Network). Brandstater looked good against the Cardinals' first-team defense, and the Broncos' defense stepped up against the Cardinals' first-team offense, which came within a couple minutes of winning the Super Bowl last year. Mile High Report points out that the defense is "vastly improved, top to bottom," which isn't all that surprising considering they couldn't have been much worse than last season. Things weren't all peachy, though. The Arizona Republic notes that the Broncos could have been up 35-0 in the first half, when they were inside the Cardinals' 20-yard line five times, scoring only one touchdown. Redzone efficiency was a major issue last year, even with wonder boy Jay Cutler, and it will have to improve greatly this year for the Broncos to contend. It'll be interesting to see who survives the weekend purge that all the NFL teams will go through in trimming down to their final 53-player rosters. The Longmont Times-Call breaks it down for the Broncos, and some fan favorites may be on the way out. I'll leave you with one final piece of Broncos history that will make you the envy of your local watering hole: On this day in 1966, the Houston Oilers kept the Denver Broncos from gaining even one first down in a 45-7 drubbing (via the Richmond Times-Dispatch).