GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A kicker scored Arizona’s first touchdown in three games. Jay Feely’s scamper was the kick-start the Cardinals sorely needed.

Feely became the fourth kicker in 40 years to run for a touchdown and matched his career best with five field goals, including a 55-yarder, in the Cardinals’ dominant 43-13 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday that ended the Cardinals’ seven-game losing streak.

Rookie quarterback John Skelton had a poised, if statistically unspectacular, performance in his first NFL start and Arizona’s Tim Hightower ran for a career-best 148 yards, including touchdown runs of 8 and 35 yards in the fourth quarter.

“It’s been a rough year,” Hightower said. “It’s good to kind of get things back in the right direction.”

Skelton completed 14 of 36 for 141 yards with no interceptions and had at least four passes dropped.

“I played decent,” he said. “It’s something to build on.”

The Broncos (3-10) committed six turnovers, three of them interceptions by Kyle Orton, in their eighth loss in nine games, an uninspired debut under interim coach Eric Studesville, promoted from running backs coach when Josh McDaniels was fired last Monday. The Denver offense seemed lost without McDaniels, who called the plays.

“There is no excuse the way we played,” Orton said. “There is no excuse the way I played.”

Feely’s 5-yard first-half scoring run on a fake field goal ended a nine-quarter touchdown drought for Arizona (4-9).

He kicked field goals of 36, 48, 55, 23 and 49 yards. Feely was wide left on a 49-yarder, just his second miss in 22 attempts this season.

The 55-yarder, with 2 seconds left in the first half, matched the longest of his 10-year NFL career.

According to the Cardinals, the last kicker to run for a score was Tim Seder of Dallas against Oakland on Oct. 7, 2001.

Feely’s touchdown came after Orton threw right into the arms of safety Kerry Rhodes, with no Denver receiver in the vicinity. Rhodes, who also recovered a Denver fumble, returned the pick 33 yards to the Broncos 24.

A successful challenge of what was ruled an incompletion resulted in an 11-yard pass to Early Doucet, but the drive stalled at the 5-yard line and Arizona set up for yet another field goal.

Holder Ben Graham flipped the ball to Feely, and the kicker outran the defenders to the right corner of the end zone for the Cardinals’ first TD in nine quarters.

“As soon as I caught the ball I kind of knew I was going to make it,” Feely said, “because they rushed pretty hard on that corner. I was able to get in the end zone and have a little fun.”

The play, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said, “kind of sucks the life out of you.”

Orton played much of the game with sore ribs, but Studesville stayed with him rather than put in rookie Tim Tebow.

tebow sign Six Turnovers Cost Broncos In Blowout Loss

A fan of the Denver Broncos holds up a sign for quarterback Tim Tebow during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“We did not feel like Kyle was in a position that we needed to do that,” said Studesville, who vowed to “evaluate everything from top to bottom” after the one-sided loss.

Arizona scored 24 points in the fourth quarter.

“We got beat by a team that showed more energy and more will,” Broncos linebacker Mario Haggan said. “We gave some effort for a little while, but at the end, it got out of hand.”

Denver scored on its opening possession when replacement kicker Steve Hauschka’s 32-yard field goal try careened off the right upright and was good. Hauschka also had a 30-yard field goal with 11:20 to play and missed a 40-yarder.

The Broncos’ touchdown came on Knowshon Moreno’s 1-yard run with 3:31 to play. Orton was 18 of 37 for 160 yards.

Arizona rookie Daryl Washington intercepted Orton late in the game and ran 39 yards, foolishly holding the ball high in one hand as he approached the goal line. Denver’s Lance Ball stripped it from behind and Arizona’s Darnell Dockett recovered in the end zone for the final score. Coach Ken Whisenhunt gave Washington a tongue-lashing on the sideline.

Broncos rookie cornerback Perrish Cox, arrested on Thursday for investigation into an alleged sexual assault, did not start but entered the game in the first quarter. Cox could face punishment by the NFL. He is free on $50,000 bail.

Derek Anderson was out with a concussion and backup Max Hall a season-ending shoulder injury, leaving the job to Skelton, a 6-foot-6 fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham.

“I’m very pleased with how he handled himself today,” Whisenhunt said. “That goes a long way. I think the guys in the huddle feel the same way. It’s exciting to think we have a young guy that shows some promise. But listen, we have a lot of work to do still with him.”

Whisenhunt wouldn’t commit to Skelton as the starter for next Sunday’s game at Carolina.

“There’s no reason for me to sit here and make any kind of decision like that right now,” the coach said. “We’re still going to look at the tape and evaluate it going forward.”

Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for 72 yards to break the franchise career reception record he shared with Anquan Boldin. Fitzgerald has 592 catches in seven seasons.

Notes: This is the first time that the Cardinals have beaten the Broncos. They entered the game 0-7-1 against Denver. … Arizona inside linebacker Gerald Hayes, previously a starter, was inactive even though he was not hurt. Washington replaced him. … Arizona RB Beanie Wells left the game with a stomach ailment. … Denver lost LB Kevin Alexander (ankle) and safety Kyle McCarthy (knee) in the first half. … Feely’s other miss this season was from 54 yards in Game 2.

By BOB BAUM – AP Sports Writer

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (14)
  1. refractory says:

    Sign Bailey and get rid of the rest of the team

  2. Sandra says:

    This is the first year I have stopped watching a Bronco’s game. Just when you thought they couldn’t play any worse. They don’t look like a professional football team! So lacking in disciplined, jumping on the pile? Fumbling and bumbling the ball (Decker, Royal, Moreno, and Orton)?
    Even after those early years with appearances at the Super Bowl, and losing to the Forty-niner’s big I was never embarrassed to say I’m a Broncos fan, but this year, this year, I am.
    It’s been a rough two years for me on a personal level. Like many of my Orange and Blue brethren the economic turmoil our country has suffered has taken its toll, but with my love of football and the Broncos I felt at least I had something to look forward to. For at least two hours each week I could escape from all the worry and for those 120 minutes I could feel like a winner again.

  3. Clint says:

    Wow I know its never easy for change.. but can you say NO HEART.. I have been a Bronco fan for 33 years now and in all the time that I have been watching.. THis was the first time that I will truely say that words disapointed and LET DOWN.. WHat was up with Orton He didnt even play like he cared.. the only part of that team that even tried were a few guys on defense and Moreno.. WHat a sad day in Denver.. the heart of the city is beating very weak tonight.. if beating at all.. I have my faith and will pray that the team can figure out what it needs to do for that heart to beat again

  4. Jose Salas says:

    If Orton is having a bad day then is Tebow or Quinn that bad that he cant be replaced

  5. LeRoy says:

    I can’t believe that the Broncos would remind me of players who just do not care about winning and don’t seem to care how they look to the rest of the league. As fans, we all remember that even when the team was out classed the team would give its all. I’m actually not going to watch any more Bronco games; and what about next year?

  6. Rod says:

    The last time we were this bad we hired a coach with the nickname “Red” to turn us around.

    1. Rod says:

      oops, correction, 1971, my appologies to John Ralston. He actually started the turnaround and then Red gave us the start of big expectations.

  7. Ann Gree Fan says:

    If this is how bad it’s going to be until the end of the season, we should fire the coach every Monday the rest of the way, just to have something to talk about.

  8. Steve says:

    It’s official – we suck. We are now officially so bad that teams as bad or worse are trying fake field goals on us — and SUCCEEDING!!!

  9. Dan says:

    Watching a Broncos game is now like sitting down and watching a SNL ep. You know at some point there will be something to laugh about. You do not know when it will surface, but it will show its face eventually.
    If it wasn’t for the Air Force team, CO football would be non-existant at this point

  10. Nick says:

    Im a Brnoco fan all my life. not once do i rmemeber such an embarassing season as this year. McDaniels was fired but looked like nothing changed. Orton sucks and is getting worse, or defense were made to look like fools. Im not sure what i can say, all I want to know, did the Broncos ever show up in Arizona yesterday? From all indications, I don’t think so. Only good news I had in football was NAVY beating Army, but at least the Army shown up to play. Thats more than i can say for MY TEAM, THE BRONCOS

  11. MARY s says:

    okay, so it been a terrible horrible icky season to say the least. Let’s not make NEXT season worse by putting Tebow in and possilby getting him hurt!!

    Especially against the Raiders!! We all know they will be out for blood, AGAIN (since the slaughter was so complete during the last meeting)

    Let Orton finish out the season, and let Tebow sit on the sidelines, learn the game a little more, and then BE HEALTHY for next season!!

    This season is toast and then some, so lets look forward and start planning on Next Season (and who wants to start a season with ANY position player injured??)

    my 2 cents worth

  12. MARY s says:


  13. bill says:

    Wow! a 43 -13 spanking at the hands of another 9 and 3 team. I expected a no thriller 13 – 10 game but not this. Orton has become very “ortonary”. I think the final games as a starter and where to go next, what to do is weighing on his little mind. I only see a backup role after this season. Well if you can’t play to win… play for draft picks!

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