What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Broncos @ Cardinals

Final Score: Cardinals 18, Broncos 17

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


This game was a rough watch for about 58:30 worth of game time. Field goal kicking was an issue, as Denver’s Brett Maher missed two in the first half before Elliot Fry had another blocked in the 2nd half. Matt Prater missed a kick for Arizona and for a while it looked like we were staring down a single digit game. Fortunately, Denver and Arizona both scored TDs in the final two minutes, with the Cardinals pounding in a 2 point conversion to give us a winner.

One noteworthy item: The broadcast said that Kyler Murray has been reciting plays to himself in the mirror at camp. Do with that information what you will.


Denver Broncos




Russell Wilson: 7/13, 93 yards, TD, sack, fumble (Recovered)


This was a roller coaster of an appearance for Wilson and the Broncos’ top offensive unit. They played for most of the first have and really struggled to move the ball for much of it. The OL struggled to block anybody and Wilson was constantly under pressure. He looked very uncomfortable for the majority of the time. He had two passes tipped at the line of scrimmage as well. His lone TD of the night came on a cover 0 blitz where the Cardinals brought seven defenders, but Jerry Jeudy was wide open because he juked the safety out of his shoes. Easy score but an 80 year old Joe Namath could have stood in there and completed that ball. I came into this game with low expectations for Wilson and I was still unimpressed overall.


  • Started game, batted ball at the line on 3rd down. Lots of pressure by the front four
  • Sack/fumble, recovered himself. Didn’t look comfortable with pressure bearing down on him
  • Next play had pressure bearing down on him again, he slid up in the pocket and tried to underhand pass the ball to Perine. Perine wasn’t expecting it, bounced away incomplete. Again, didn’t look comfortable.
  • Really struggling with pressure. OL not doing any favors but he does not look comfortable at all. Got hit pretty hard
  • Free rusher got to him on the next play on a cover 0 by the defense, threw up an interceptable ball that just sailed over a defender’s head. Dangerous throw.
  • Stepped up and made a nice throw to Sutton
  • 4th and 5 TD was all Jeudy


Jarrett Stidham: 5/15, 50 yards, INT, sack | 2 carries, 19 yards


Stidham came in right before halftime and played for most of the second half. In the event that Wilson were to go down, I’m confident that Stidham could come in and start a few games for Denver while giving them a chance to be in ballgames. His lone mistake was bad, but otherwise he’s a smart player who picks and chooses his spots.


  • Nice step up in collapsing pocket, threw a decent ball that was a little low and behind Calloway but would have been caught had the defender not made a great play to knock it away
  • Picked. Floated a ball out to a covered receiver and the defender jumped the route for the INT. Any sort of zip on the ball would have gotten the ball there in time.
  • Kept an RPO, 13 yard gain. Announcers: “That was shocking”


Ben DiNucci: 7/9, 57 yards


Running Back


Samaje Perine: 6 carries, 26 yards | 1 target


Samaje Perine started this game and will look to carve out a role in what might line up to be a timeshare with Javonte Williams. Time will tell, though, as apparently Williams is back to 100% health after tearing his ACL and other knee ligaments in Week 4 last season. Perine looked the part of a starting RB in this game. He’s always had a good motor and his effort stood out in a Broncos offense that simply did not look good tonight.




  • Drilled at the LOS on a toss, stayed up, kept the feet moving, got out of it and earned a couple extra yards. Nice effort play
  • Nice 11 yard run up the middle, OL opened up a big hole for him


Tyler Badie: 6 carries, 24 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards


Short, quick. Runs hard. Slithers through the OL. I was impressed in the short amount of time we saw him. He’s battling with Tony Jones Jr. for the 3rd string RB role and based on their performances tonight I’d give the leg up to Badie. He just looks more explosive with the ball in his hands.

Missed Opportunities

  • Had two straight touches called back by holding penalties. A 7 yard run and 5 yard catch and run


Jaleel McLaughlin: 4 carries, 20 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards

Tony Jones Jr.: 3 carries, 8 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jerry Jeudy: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 40 yards, TD


It was a Jekyll/Hyde night for Jeudy. On the plus side, he caught a TD pass and did this in the process:



However, on the play immediately before he had an ugly drop where he admitted he saw the end zone and lost concentration on the play. If Jeudy can keep his mentals in check he has top 5 talent at the position, but he needs to keep focused on every down in order to get there.


Courtland Sutton: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards, TD


We didn’t see much out of Sutton in this one. He caught a few balls, one of them being a diving catch after one of Wilson’s passes was tipped at the line.


Adam Trautman: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards


Trautman actually got the reps with the starting offense for most of the first half while Greg Dulcich didn’t come in until Jarrett Stidham and the 2’s joined the fray late in the 2nd half. I was not expecting this. Dulcich’s ADP currently sits at 145 per Fantasypros, while Trautman is not listed in the top 55 of TEs. Trautman had a nice catch and run outlined below, but he was shaken up at one point. He’s a Sean Payton guy so we really shouldn’t be surprised by this development. Keep an eye on this situation and we should maybe start thinking twice about drafting Dulcich so high.


  • Nice catch and run on short screen, however instead of running straight he ran to the left and initiated contact with an LB. Had he kept running straight it would have been a longer gain
  • Took a low hit and appeared to get shaken up. Didn’t see him again after that


Marquez Calloway: 2 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards


Calloway is unofficially listed as the #4 receiver on this team, however I would imagine he will get additional looks in the early weeks due to his familiarity with Sean Payton’s offense.


  • Targeted by Stidham, not quite on the money but still a good throw. Defender made a good play on the ball


Greg Dulcich: Did not touch the ball


See the writeup for Adam Trautman. Dulcich may be getting overdrafted in a BIG way.


Arizona Cardinals




Colt McCoy: 4/4, 17 yards | 1 carry, 5 yards


Colt McCoy started this game and looks primed to start for the Cardinals until Kyler Murray eventually returns from his torn ACL. McCoy played one drive and did not do much other than scrambling for five yards to convert 3rd and short. He likely won’t be pushed by Clayton Tune for his job anytime soon, but Tune did show some nice things that make me wonder if McCoy is in the Cardinals’ plans past 2024. McCoy should only be on the fantasy radar in the deepest of superflex leagues.


Clayton Tune: 13/23, 135 yards, TD, INT, 3 sacks | 4 carries, 9 yards


Tune is a 5th round rookie out of Houston, where he played five years with them according to the broadcast. I was initially impressed with Tune’s accuracy, athleticism, and command of the offense pre-snap. However, it seemed that anytime he threw the ball to the sideline it was five yards off target. He just couldn’t do it. He was throwing darts to open receivers across the middle of the field but once they were outside the numbers the ball was practically in the stands every time. It was odd.

He did a good job of feeling and avoiding pressure, which he faced a lot of. He might push Colt McCoy for the backup job at some point, but for now he needs to figure out what’s going on with those outside throws.

Fun fact: Jimmy Lawrence, his great-great uncle, was the first ever draft pick by the Cardinals in 1936.


  • Hit Rondale Moore over the middle on 3rd and 5, stared him down but stood in the pocket and got it out before the pressure got to him
  • Inaccurate deep ball. Long windup, not a ton of zip on it. Bad decision
  • Had some communication issues with a receiver on third down but was changing things up at the line
  • Did a nice job of scrambling to avoid some pressure and get back to the LOS. Deceptively quick
  • Felt pressure and stepped up, inaccurate throw downfield but nice job to avoid the sack
  • Scrambled and dove for a 1st but came up short
  • QB sneak on 4th and 1, earned 3 or 4 yards
  • Really struggled with accuracy on throws to the sideline
  • TD throw on cover 0, very similar to Jeudy’s TD. Good route by receiver and Tune threw him a bullet

Missed Opportunities

  • Threw a pick but only because Rondale Moore slipped. Made a good effort to slow down the intercepting player on the return
  • Had a receiver wide open on an out route, missed him by about five yards
  • Did the same thing on the next drive. Had Dortch wide open


David Blough: 8/14, 86 yards, TD, 2 sacks


Orchestrated a game-winning TD drive


Running Back


Ty’Son Williams: 10 carries, 51 yards


This is the Ty’Son Williams that folks were hyped about when he was on the Ravens in recent years? Yikes. He looks like he’s trying to run through quicksand.


  • Not very quick, not very big. Indecisive
  • 13 yard gain around the edge showed off the speed we’ve heard about him in the past
  • Gives up as soon as he’s touched
  • Runs like a baby deer trying to stay on its’ feet


Corey Clement: 6 carries, 15 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards


DeVontae Ingram is the backup to James Conner but he was dealing with an injury and did not play in this one. Clement stepped in and was fine until he got injured later in the game when he ran into his own lineman and took a blow to the head.


  • Lining up as fullback occationally
  • Nice jump cut to break a tackle for loss, ran hard behind his blocker but only got three yards
  • Caught a short screen, ran into his own guy and took a big hit. Shaken up. Head hit right off the bicep of the OL. Didn’t see him again


Emari Demercado: 6 carries, 21 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards


With two seconds left in the game, Blough threw a TD pass to get the score within one and then elected to go for two for the win. Demercado took the handoff and was met by a defender one yard behind the LOS but still somehow powered his way into the end zone for the game winning score. It was honestly impressive.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Geoff Swaim: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards


TE1 Zach Ertz is still hurt, but TE2 Trey McBride did not play in this one. Swain was barely involved, but it’s at least confirmation that McBride is the TE to roster while Ertz stays out.


Rondale Moore: 2 targets, 1 reception, 12 yards



  • Nice cut to get open over the middle of the field and convert 3rd and 5

Missed Opportunities

  • Slipped out of his break, fell to the ground. QB targeted him but ball was picked as a result


Greg Dortch: 3 targets


Didn’t start, came in with the 2s. Was done by midway through the 3rd quarter.


  • Kick return, bounced off a defender and stayed on his feet. Spun around and gained a few more yards. Tough
  • Before the half, punt with 1:44 left, didn’t receive it but made a nice block to keep a defender away from downing it near the goal line. Touchback instead. Little thing but shows his football smarts

Missed Opportunities

  • Wide open on the sideline but Tune missed him


Daniel Arias: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 49 yards


The Cardinals announcers were raving about him early in the 2nd half, but he didn’t do much to impress and had a bad drop on the Cardinals’ game winning drive. He made up for it with a couple more catches later in the drive, but nothing stood out otherwise


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