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Cardinals comeback to beat Broncos in preseason opener

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune (15) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during a preseason game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Aug. 11, 2023

Although it is only preseason, the era of Jonathan Gannon in Arizona has commenced with a remarkable come-from-behind triumph against Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos.

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Evan as the Broncos persisted with their A-team offense throughout most of the first half, Arizona’s defense remained resolute throughout the entire night.

With Clayton Tune attempting to find his stride at quarterback for the first time in his professional career, there were multiple opportunities where the Broncos started a drive with excellent field position.

Yet, instead of rolling over, Nick Rallis led his club to a handful of massive stops, which resulted in the Broncos bringing out their field goal unit on drives that seemed destined for a touchdown.

While there were plenty of things that stood out early, it was the third-down stops that helped the Cardinals tremendously. By holding the Broncos to 5-14 on third-down attempts, Arizona was able to stay competitive and keep the game close.

This impressive defensive performance allowed the Cardinals to hand the football over to veteran quarterback David Blough for a game-winning drive.

Dealing with a seven-point deficit and 1:30 left on the clock, Blough led his team into the endzone with just two seconds to spare. It was an 18-yard pass to Brian Cobbs that capped off the 75-yard drive.

However, the job was not quite finished yet. With no overtime in preseason, Jonathan Gannon took the opportunity and went for the kill on a two-point conversion attempt.

In what looked like a failed rush up the middle, Emari Demercado willed his way into the end zone to give the Cardinals their first and final lead of the night.


There might not have been a more fitting way for Gannon to kick off his tenure with the Cardinals than a come-from-behind victory.

After what feels like an eternity, a palpable sense of hope has finally descended upon fans throughout Arizona who have been desperately waiting for even the slightest glimmer of optimism.

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