Archive for Saturday, August 30, 2008

NFL Preseason Roundup: Broncos’ backups triumph

August 30, 2008

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Broncos 28, Cardinals 14

Glendale, Ariz. - Third-string quarterback Darrell Hackney threw for 208 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown to Keary Colbert, and Denver beat Arizona on Friday night's in the preseason finale for both teams.

Hackney's long pass to Colbert put the Broncos (2-2) up 21-14 with 8:51 remaining. Denver's Jack Williams picked off Anthony Morelli's pass and returned it 87 yards for a score with 5:42 to play.

Matt Leinart relieved starter Kurt Warner and directed the Cardinals (2-2) to two touchdowns. He was 10-of-14 for 177 yards and a score, all in the second quarter.

Warner was 4-for-4 for 48 yards but couldn't get Arizona on the scoreboard.

Twenty-nine Denver players sat out the game, as is the custom for the final preseason contest for coach Mike Shanahan.

Although the performance came against Denver's reserves, it was a welcome reversal for Leinart after an awful outing last week at Oakland put his status as starter in doubt.

His job seemed even more in jeopardy when Warner was named the starter against Denver, even though coach Ken Whisenhunt said it was only to get the veteran more snaps.

Leinart entered the game on the last play of the first quarter and was promptly sacked. But after that he was 4-for-4 for 87 yards on a seven-play, 90-yard drive that culminated with his 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Leonard Pope.

Not everything went well for Leinart. After driving the Cardinals to the Denver 25, he bounced a lateral pass toward J.J. Arrington and Denver's Louis Green recovered.

The Cardinals (2-2) held, though, and Arizona scored on its next possession, Arrington going up the middle on a 28-yard TD run that put the Cardinals ahead 14-10 with 1:28 to go in the half.

Chargers 20, 49ers 17

San Francisco - Eldra Buckley made a one-armed diving catch on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds left for San Diego.

Third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst passed for 144 yards and Malcom Floyd had six catches for 68 yards for the Chargers (3-1), whose best players all sat out the club's second exhibition game in five days.

Alex Smith, who lost the 49ers (2-2) starting quarterback job to J.T. O'Sullivan, passed for 146 yards but threw two terrible interceptions.

O'Sullivan and Frank Gore sat out along with linebacker Patrick Willis, defensive end Justin Smith and cornerback Nate Clements, but receiver Bryant Johnson looked good in his first limited action with San Francisco, catching three passes for 41 yards in his late bid to keep a starting job.

Hobbled Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was in uniform during warmups, but he joined LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Chris Chambers and Jamal Williams on the sideline when the game began.

Seahawks 23, Raiders 16

Seattle - T.J. Duckett rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns for Seattle.

Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was in sweats to rest a back that has been tight since Aug. 8. Seneca Wallace, slowed this month by a groin injury, was 21-of-30 for 225 yards in his place.

Oakland starter JaMarcus Russell, who will start the Sept. 8 opener against Denver, was in uniform. But the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 stayed on the sideline as Andrew Walter was 16-of-24 for 162 yards.

The only starters appearing in the game for the Seahawks (3-1): center Chris Spencer played the first two series, his first game since last January's playoff loss at Green Bay following surgeries on his shoulder and thumb then a back injury last month, right guard Rob Sims and rookie first-round pick Lawrence Jackson started at defensive right end.

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