Cardinals aiming to defeat Broncos in ‘statement game’

There aren’t many better matchups on the Week 5 docket than Cardinals vs. Broncos.

Two well-rested teams coming off bye weeks. Undefeated Arizona. Peyton Manning. Mile High. A national television audience.

“This ain’t no normal game,” Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote said, via the Associated Press. “I know if we get this victory, a lot more cameras are going to be in this locker room. . . . It’s a statement game.”

The Cardinals, one of two undefeated teams, certainly can make a statement by trumping the Broncos in Denver, where they’re 2-0 this season. The odds aren’t in their favor — Vegas installed them as 7.5-point underdogs — but victory is within their mindsets.

“We’re a confident group,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “This is the NFL. There’s ups and downs. You play good some weeks, you play bad some weeks. To be honest with you, we haven’t played our best football. We haven’t put together a game where we can say, ‘Man, this is our statement game.’”

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has his work cut out for him, hoping to match wits with Manning and the high-octane Broncos offense. To do so, he’ll rely on stout defensive play and backup quarterback Drew Stanton, who’s making his third-consecutive start for the injured Carson Palmer.

“We get them in a one-dimensional game,” Arians said, “I like our chances.”

This may not be a playoff game, but it has that type of feel. Hopefully it lives up to the newfound hype.

(Photo credit: Jack Dempsey/Associated Press)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).