Final

Broncos 16

(2-2, 2-0 away)

Cardinals 13

(1-4, 1-1 home)

Coverage: NFL

11:00 PM ET, August 30, 2012

U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ 

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 0 0 7 916
ARI 0 7 3 313

Broncos top Cardinals in preseason finale on Matt Prater's field goal

Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Quarterback Brock Osweiler was supposed to be the rookie from Arizona State to watch for Denver on Thursday.

Instead, his former college teammate Omar Bolden made the night's biggest play.

The fourth-round draft pick returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown to ignite a second-half comeback that lifted the Denver Broncos to a 16-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the teams' preseason finale.

"It definitely felt great for me to return it back here in Arizona," Bolden said. "I miss playing here, I love the fans here in the state; it was great just to make a play."

Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver starters took the night off in a game won by Matt Prater's 44-yard field goal as time expired.

"We had 25 guys that did not play," Broncos coach John Fox said. "We wanted to look at the bottom part of the roster. I thought some guys helped themselves. I thought we made some improvement."

In contrast to the Broncos, Arizona used 10 starters on offense and 10 on defense in the game's first few series. The Cardinals' two candidates for starting quarterback, John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, did not play.

Cardinals first-round draft pick Michael Floyd made a spectacular 22-yard touchdown catch.

Manning lounged on the Denver bench as backup Caleb Hanie played the first half. Under duress much of the time, Hanie completed 7-of-13 for 75 yards, but was sacked five times. Knowshon Moreno rushed seven times for 48 yards in the first half for Denver (2-2).

Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State, started for Arizona (1-4) and completed 14-of-26 for 176 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

"I think Ryan did a pretty nice job," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "The one interception was a miscommunication between the receiver. He got the wrong check. He was supposed to be running the route on it. But overall, I was pleased with his performance."

Lindley was 9-of-13 for 101 yards and a touchdown in the first half with no interceptions, and that was supposed to be it for him. But he was forced back into the game late in the third quarter when Rich Bartel left with a right shoulder injury.

"I'm going to take it as a good test," Lindley said of having to come in the game on short notice after he thought he was through for the night. "It's something that could happen in the future. Hopefully it doesn't, but it's good practice for something like that."

Whisenhunt made it clear this week that Lindley was not a candidate for the starting job. The coach might name a starter at his regular availability on days after games.

Lindley was picked off by Syd'Quan Thompson with just more than six minutes to go to set up Prater's 43-yard field goal that put Denver ahead 13-10 with 4:25 to play. But Lindley found Isaiah Williams behind the secondary for a 56-yard pass that set up Jay Feely's tying 35-yard field goal with 52 seconds to go.

Then fourth-string quarterback Adam Weber threw 50 yards to Greg Orton to set up the winning kick.

Arizona's Beanie Wells, in his second game since coming off postseason knee surgery, carried seven times for 35 yards.

Osweiler played most of the second half for Denver, completing 3 of 7 passes for 36 yards.

Penalties negated a pair of big plays by the Broncos in the first half.

Drayton Florence's interception of Lindley's greatly underthrown deep pass was nullified by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Robert Ayers.

Arizona went on to complete a 10-play, 76-yard touchdown drive. Lindley, on the run, heaved into double coverage in the end zone and Floyd, the 13th player chosen in the draft, bobbled the ball but held on as he fell to the turf for a touchdown on the second play of the second quarter.

"I kept concentration on the ball the whole time," Floyd said. "Luckily the guy hit me in the back to go toward the ball, so it landed in my hands."

Lindley was surrounded by Arizona starters early in the game, while safety Adrian Wilson was the only Cardinals regular on defense who didn't play at least a little bit.

Lindley led the Cardinals downfield on their first possession, but Feely's 40-yard field goal try careened off the left upright.

The Cardinals gave Denver a late scoring opportunity with the only turnover of the first half. Lindley passed to former San Diego State teammate DeMarco Sampson, who was hit by Steven Johnson. The ball popped free and Denver's Nate Irving recovered at the Arizona 21. But Hanie was sacked twice as the first half came to an end with Arizona up 7-0.

After Crezdon Butler intercepted Osweiler, Bartel's 52-yard pass to Williams set up Feely's 41-yard field goal that made it 10-0 in the third quarter.

Bolden gathered in the subsequent kickoff and made his way down the right sideline, tiptoeing just inside the line along the way to the end zone.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DEN
ARI
1st Downs1514
Passing 1st downs
611
Rushing 1st downs
91
1st downs from Penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
4-135-14
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays5958
Total Yards308313
Yards per play5.25.4
Total Drives1311
Passing140251
Comp - Att
12-2318-31
Yards per pass
6.18.1
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
5-283-17
Rushing16862
Rushing Attempts
3124
Yards per rush
5.42.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-20-2
Penalties7-835-30
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession29:1630:44

Passing Leaders

DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hanie7/13755.8005-28
Weber2/45714.3000-0
ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Lindley14/261766.8111-10
Bartel4/59218.4002-7

Rushing Leaders

DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hillman14684.9015
Moreno7497.0017
ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Wells7355.007
Powell9182.005

Receiving Leaders

DENRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Orton35719.00457
Green24522.50233
ARIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Williams312140.30565
Byrd34715.70274

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERDENARI
ariTD14:14Michael Floyd 22 Yd Pass From Ryan Lindley (Jay Feely Kick) 07
THIRD QUARTERDENARI
ariFG03:28Jay Feely 41 Yd 010
denTD03:13Omar Bolden 103 Yd Kickoff Return (Matt Prater Kick) 710
FOURTH QUARTERDENARI
denFG08:14Matt Prater 19 Yd 1010
denFG04:25Matt Prater 43 Yd 1310
ariFG00:52Jay Feely 35 Yd 1313
denFG00:00Matt Prater 44 Yd 1613