Holy Blough! 3rd QB’s the charm as David Blough lifts Cardinals over Broncos

Aug 11, 2023, 11:05 PM | Updated: 11:41 pm

Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) scrambles away from the pocket against the Denver B...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) scrambles away from the pocket against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter on Friday, August 11, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (Felisa Cardenas Arizona Sports photo)

(Felisa Cardenas Arizona Sports photo)

David Blough sat on the on the Arizona Cardinals bench for more than three quarters on Friday night.

From that vantage point, he got to see Kyler Murray, the team’s incumbent starting quarterback in street clothes, as he recovers from knee surgery.

He got to watch two other guys duke it out for a position he covets: the backup quarterback job.

— He got to watch Colt McCoy, the veteran, start the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos at State Farm Stadium. McCoy went 4-for-4 on the first drive of the game — his only action of the night.

— He got to watch Clayton Tune, the highly-thought-of 5th round pick, throw for 135 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 13-for-23 passing.

But it wasn’t until that touchdown early in the fourth quarter that new head coach Jonathan Gannon called Blough’s number 17 to enter the game.

And then, holy cow!

“I think a big part of everybody’s story if you get to this point is redemption,” Blough said. “You only get so many opportunities, and to capitalize on them, is a good feeling.”

The final drive

Following a potentially back-breaking 10-play, 87-yard touchdown drive by the Broncos that left 1:30 left on the game clock, Blough took his team onto the field after the touchback and went to work.

He fired a pass to Daniel Arians for seven yards, a 13-yard pass to Blake Whiteheart, and then a 25 yarder to Arians down the middle of the field.

Arizona would take its second timeout with 46 seconds remaining and the ball sitting on the Denver 30.

After an incomplete pass, Blough connected with Joel Honigford on an eight-yard pass. He then went no huddle and completed a pass to move the ball to the 18 before calling the team’s final timeout.

On 2nd-and-10, Blough took the snap, scrambled right and spotted Brian Cobbs crossing the end zone and found him in the front corner for the touchdown leaving two seconds on the clock. Blough immediately called for the two-point conversion.

“The opportunity you have as a quarterback to be able to walk in that huddle and say ‘lets get in the end zone, let’s go win this thing’ and for those guys to execute it and do it, it’s pretty cool,” Blough said after the game. “[Offensive coordinator Drew] Petzing said this is who we are, this is our identity as a football team, this is what we want to be about. He knows the conversion rates on plays like that and has studied two-point plays over the last few years so we were confident.”

After lining up, Broncos head coach Sean Payton called time out. After the timeout, Arizona ran the ball with Emari Demercado up the middle and he pushed in for the conversion.

On the ensuing kick, the Cardinals would squib the kick down the middle of the field and force Tony Jones Jr. out of play to end the game and claim their first victory of the preseason.

“In this league, it’s so hard to win. When you can win in this league, you win,” Blough said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason, a scrimmage, a regular season, a postseason, you gotta take advantage of it.”

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