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Thursday Night Football open thread: Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals

Thursday’s cross-conference matchup features a pair of teams desperate for a win.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another presentation of America’s finest game. This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football features a cross-conference matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Denver Broncos in the heat of the desert.

The Cardinals find themselves heading into Week 7 at just 1-5. First-year head coach Steve Wilks has struggled to translate his defensive smarts to the field, most blatantly displayed by his blind love of nickel packages on defense. Through the first few weeks of the season, the Cardinals defense found themselves in nickel packages at a rate far higher than any other team in the league. For reasons unknown to most, even in goal-line, clear running situations, Wilks still deployed the nickel package and his stubbornness has cost the team this far into the season.

The Cardinals offense hasn’t been any better — fragile journeyman quarterback Sam Bradford proved blatantly inept at leading the offense, and unfortunately rookie quarterback Josh Rosen hasn’t had much luck either. Despite having All-Pro names like Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson in the arsenal, Arizona hasn’t had much luck moving the ball against opposing defenses.

The Broncos, on the other hand, had high expectations going into the season. With free agent quarterback Case Keenum getting his payday in Denver and a stiff defense adding more studs like Bradley Chubb in the offseason, eyes were on the playoffs for Denver as head coach Vance Joseph entered his second season with the team. The Broncos put on a show as they got off to a 2-0 start, but have dropped all four of their games since. After the third loss, Joseph promised change in the team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for them to best the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6.

If the Broncos have any hope of making the playoffs, they’ll need to come up with a win tonight. As for the Cardinals, it will be another day of learning on the run for Wilks and his confused team.

Will the Broncos keep their playoff hopes alive in the desert? Will Josh Rosen finally perform like the first round pick that he was? Can Demaryius Thomas live up to his fantasy hype at least once this season? Let us know your answers to those and any other thoughts on tonight’s game in the comments.

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