Even with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart strong performance in Saturday’s game against the Denver Broncos, Broncos reserve quarterback Darrell Hackney played the entire game and performed a bit better – he threw for a touchdown – as the Broncos defeated the Cardinals 28-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Even with the win, Denver sat out 29 players – which is typical for team head coach Mike Shanahan to do on the last preseason game of 2008. The Broncos did their major scoring damage in the fourth quarter as a 38-yard field goal by Matt Prater, an 87-yard touchdown pass from Hackney to Keary Colbert and an 89-yard interception for a TD by cornerback Jack Williams sealed the deal for the Broncos. Meanwhile, the Cardinals did all of their scoring in the second quarter – a 17-yard Matt Leinart to Leonard Pope TD pass and a 26-yard rushing TD by J.J.Arrington.
Hackney went 17-of-26 for 208 yards and a TD while rushing for 35 yards on 8 carries. Both Leinart and Kurt Warner performed well, with Leinart going 10-14 for 77 yards and a TD while Warner went 4-of-4 for 48 yards; third-team QB Anthony Morelli did not do as well, going 6-of-12 for 78 yards but threw 2 INT’s.
Anthony Aldridge led all Broncos rushers with 110 yards on 23 carries while Arrington led all Cardinals rushers with 31 yards on 5 carries and a score. Colbert had an impressive outing for the Broncos, leading their receivers with 5 receptions for 105 yards and a TD; Jerheme Urban led the Cardinals receivers with 4 receptions for 94 yards. Denver opens their regular season on September 8 as they travel to McAfee Stadium to face the Oakland Raiders for a Monday night tilt while Arizona opens their season on September 7 as they face the San Francisco 49ers.