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Published on 08/31/2012 at Fri Aug 31 01:12.
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Caleb Hanie, Adam Weber

Denver Broncos quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber at training camp in 2012. ( photo/Kyle Montgomery)

It is the making of nightmares. Fouler than any stench, darker than the deepest abyss.

Preseason overtime.

The Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals stood on the precipice of such despair with less than 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter of their 2012 Week Four preseason game. The hard-fought score — the production of roster bubble players clawing for every inch, of offensive struggles and interceptions and missed field goals — was tied, 13-13. Less than 20 seconds remained on the game clock, and the Broncos were resigned to their own 32-yard line.

Then Broncos fourth-string quarterback Adam Weber performed the miracle. He completed a 45-yard pass to Greg Orton to the Arizona 23-yard line, calling timeout with seven seconds left, and setting up Matt “Money” Prater for a game-winning field goal.

The Broncos’ 2012 preseason ended as so many regular season games did in 2011 — a football through the uprights, courtesy Matt Prater’s perfect foot.

Offense: Scoreless in first half, touchdown-less overall

Broncos backup offensive linemen this year had not contributed to an offensive touchdown since Preseason Week One. That trend would continue Thursday as Chris Clark, Ryan Harris and company worked together for over three quarters, yet did not contribute to a touchdown drive.

Their best work came at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when Brock Osweiler, Ronnie Hillman, and Jeremiah Johnson led the Broncos on a 94-yard, seven-minute, 14-play drive that ultimately stalled as Osweiler was tackled on a scramble at the Arizona one-yard line.   Coach John Fox opted to kick the field goal rather than go for the fourth and short, sending the game into its first of two ties in the fourth quarter.

Omar Bolden ignites Arizona

On a night when his alma mater decimated my alma mater by a score of 63-6, Omar Bolden was igniting a football stadium of his own. In fact, it was across town. The rookie cornerback had been itching for a good opportunity to return a kickoff for all of preseason, and he got that chance in the third quarter tonight. Bolden burst out of the end zone and snaked his way through a handful of would-be tacklers to find a large seam down the right sideline. A footrace against the holder and kicker that nearly tripped him out of bounds (we’re talking millimeters) saw Bolden the victor, with a 103-yard kickoff return touchdown the prize.

“I had the opportunity to bring it out,” Bolden said. “I try to make the most of my opportunities.”

Defenders step up

On the eve of Cut Day, a handful of defensive players stepped up and solidified their roster spots. Largest among them were Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson. Trevathan led the team in tackles with eight (seven solo), while Jackson tied for second on the team with four tackles. Jackson was in and around several running plays and was around Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley often, sacking him with his mere presence once (Lindley fell with Jackson in furious pursuit).

Trevathan, the Broncos’ sixth round pick out of Kentucky, showed he’s more than just potential: he can produce now.

“I’m still not going to rest (tonight), you know,” Trevathan said. “You just try to play your best while you’re out there.”

Back to reality

The Broncos fly home and prepare for Cut Day tomorrow. The Broncos must trim their 75-man roster to 53 by 4 p.m. MT. John Elway will hold a press conference at Dove Valley at 5.

Best of luck to everyone who donned orange and blue tonight.

  • anthony33

    We are serious trouble if Payton goes down.

  • Dante_Pakistan

    Dante Pakistan here checking in for the regular season. Some would argue the best part will be having Manning but to me the best thing will be no Tebow or his delusional fan base!