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Cardinals Defense Torched By Manning In 41-20 Loss To Broncos

Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals defense picked a bad day to have an off day.

For the first time the Cards walked off the field with a “L” in the loss column, falling to the defending AFC Champion Denver Broncos 41-20 in Colorado.

Just like a ton of teams before them, the Cardinals secondary was picked apart by Peyton Manning, who threw his 500th career TD in the runaway win.

Manning was on fire, throwing for 479 yards and four TDs, moving him within five of Brett Favre’s record 508.

While Manning was good, the player that just killed the Cards was Demaryius Thomas,the Broncos WR who in the 21-point win set a franchise record with 226 yards on eight catches, beating Shannon Sharpe’s mark of 214 yards set against Kansas City in 2002.

Thomas caught touchdown passes of 31 and 86 yards, and his 77-yard TD was nullified on a chop block by Julius Thomas that sent defensive end Calais Campbell from the game with a right knee injury.

Left tackle Ryan Clady was engaged with Campbell and was whistled for the flag. But it was the Pro Bowl tight end who crashed low into Campbell and drew the wrath of Arizona coach Bruce Arians.

“I’ve been coaching for 37 years, it’s the dirtiest play I’ve seen,” Arians fumed. “It was a flat chop block and put him out of the game. I know John Fox, great coach and great guy.

“Somebody has got to answer to that. A fine isn’t going to do it, when he’s going to miss three or four weeks, on a blatant chop block.”

Overall the Cardinals D was helpless against the Broncos, allowing 568 yards, the most yards allowed in a single game for the team since 1973.

The offense tried to hang, but was at even more of a disadvantage when they lost backup QB Drew Stanton with a concussion.

Stanton was 11 for 26 for 118 yards before being knocked from the game on a hard hit by Von Miller in the third quarter.

On his third series, Logan Thomas threaded a pass through linebacker Nate Irving’s grasp and into the arms of running back Andre Ellington for a stunning 81-yard score that made it 24-20.

It was the last highlight for the Cardinals, and the last for Thomas, who never completed another pass in the loss.

Brandon McManus, whose solid start convinced the Broncos they should release the suspended Matt Prater, made it 27-20 when his 41-yard field goal bounced off the left post and through the uprights.

Denver put up two more touchdowns, 17 points total in the fourth quarter to complete the blowout win.

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