Broncos at Cardinals: What to watch for in the preseason finale

Jul 28, 2016; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) calls out a play during training camp drills held at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos wrap up preseason play Thursday at the Arizona Cardinals. Normally, this is a week and a game that does not mean much to the fans as most are ready to just get things going in the regular season. However, there are quite a few reasons to tune in and watch some football Thursday night.

With Trevor Siemian being named Denver’s starting quarterback, this is a good opportunity to see Paxton Lynch for an entire game. Gary Kubiak has already said that Lynch will play the entire game and Lynch’s performance will go a long way in determining what the Broncos will do at backup quarterback this season.

Denver’s third running back position will also be on the line tomorrow night. Ronnie Hillman shined against the Los Angeles Rams. However, Kapri Bibbs should get opportunities this week to prove his worth in order to secure a roster spot. Do not just watch the carries between Hillman and Bibbs. Keep an eye out for both on special teams and in pass protection during this game.

The return game will also be interesting tomorrow night. Jordan Norwood seems to be a lock to make the roster. The question is what Kubiak will do with Kalif Raymond. The undrafted free agent has shown promise as a returner and as a speedy wide receiver this preseason.

One of the really nice bright spots on defense has been the play of Dekoda Watson. It seems Watson should have already secured a roster spot with his 2.5 sacks against the Rams along with other standout plays this preseason. Watson should get more playing time tomorrow night in case he needs to do more to prove his value to the Broncos.

Denver really needs to get the tight end position going behind Virgil Green. Jeff Heuerman and Garret Graham have been nonexistent this preseason for the Broncos. Denver needs to find somebody to complement Green. It seems that the best option currently on the roster to provide depth at tight end is John Phillips. Look for Phillips to get increased targets against Arizona.

Finally, watch this game as a potential preview (of the backups). It is not completely unthinkable that Denver and Arizona could meet up in February. Most championship teams win a ring because of outstanding depth. This is a good chance to examine the depth between two teams with title aspirations.

It is still just week four of the preseason. However, there are more story lines this season compared to most seasons.

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