DENVER (Ticker) --
hopes there are many more games like this. Dave McGinnis will be hoping for just one more game on the Arizona sidelines.
Portis capped a brilliant rookie season by rushing for 228 yards and two touchdowns as the
rolled to a 37-7 rout of the Cardinals.
Eliminated from playoff contention before the game, the Broncos (9-7) turned their second-round pick loose on the Cardinals, who may soon be in the market for a new coach.
"It was tough going into the game knowing we were out of the playoffs, but I was pleased with the way our team fought through it," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "The character our team had showed that even though we weren't going to the playoffs, we played hard and made some plays."
With his big day, Portis tied Miami's Ricky Williams for the best rushing day in the NFL this season. Portis broke
's team rookie rushing record, finishing the campaign with 1,508 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"I really haven't sat down and thought about it, but it worked out pretty well," Portis said of his rookie season. "I didn't play early in the season, and in a couple of those games during the season other teams were able to take us away from the run. You look back and think that things happen for a reason, and what if I would have actually played in those games. I might have been able to make a run for the record in a season."
While Portis looks to have a bright future, things could be much darker for McGinnis, who has posted just a 12-23 record as Cardinals coach. Arizona (5-11) lost nine of its last 10 games following a 4-2 start.
Afterward, McGinnis did not address his future.
It also may have been the final game in an Arizona uniform for
, who is an unrestricted free agent. He completed 13-of-27 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown.
Plummer did not hide his feelings for McGinnis.
"I went over and gave coach McGinnis a big hug," Plummer said. "I just poured out for that guy; he's a coach you love to play for. I wish we could have closed the season better for him. He's the best coach I've ever played for, and I wanted to make it a better ending for him."
Plummer addressed his own future with the Cardinals.
"There's a scenario that could happen where I'm back, and a scenario that I'm not back," Plummer said. "Who knows - it might be until late February until something happens. I can sit here and try to ponder, but I really don't know."
Plummer's one-yard touchdown pass to
with one second remaining in the first half capped a 17-play, 81-yard drive and pulled the Cardinals within 9-7.
accounted for the Broncos' offense in the first half with field goals of 44, 54 and 21 yards. Denver managed only those field goals despite Portis gaining 120 yards on just eight carries.
Portis continued to churn on the yards in the second half,, amassing 108 on 16 attempts.
"This is my first 200-yard game, in college most of the time I was out for halftime," Portis said. "So by the time I got to 130 or 140 (yards) I'd be done. I would have actually come out but guys kept pushing me to go back in. They kept coming to me and saying `go for 250,' so I stayed in."
"That kid's going to be Offensive Rookie of the Year, and there's a reason," McGinnis said. "I watched
when he was in college (make defenders miss), and he's been doing it all year. He's a tremendous back."
Instead of field goals, the Broncos made sure they reached the end zone in the second half, when they scored touchdowns on their first four possessions.
Making the start in place of
extended the Broncos' lead to 16-7 with a five-yard touchdown pass to rookie
with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
Beuerlein engineered a 10-play, 92-yard drive later in the third quarter. He found
with a 10-yard touchdown 2:11 into the fourth, giving the Broncos a 23-7 lead.
Beuerlein had an effective game in winning for the first time in three starts as he completed 16-of-24 passes for 203 yards.
On their next drive, Beuerlein had a 52-yard completion to
, setting up Portis' four-yard touchdown run that made it 30-7.
Portis capped the scoring with a 12-yard run with 4:11 to play.