In the second game of the Monday night header, the San Diego Chargers took on the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona, at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Going into this game everybody expected the Chargers to be the loser of this game and that’s exactly what the outcome was, but that’s not the entire story. The Chargers going into this season with 2nd year Head Coach, Mike McCoy, showed last year getting them into the playoffs at 9-7 that he was a force to be reckon with. Also coming into this game was last years Quarterback coach, now Offensive Coordinator, Frank Reich. Frank had a wonderful play-call that resulted in a Ryan Mathews touchdown where he wasn’t even touched, but his other play-calls were quite questionable to say the least.
They played in the last game of the preseason against one another and it was strictly field goals in that game. In the opening Half of this game, that’s all it was, too. Was 6-3 Arizona. At this point between preseason and this game there was NINE field goals between the two teams, and ZERO touchdowns. That would all change coming out of the half. Rivers decided to start driving and gave a touchdown to Malcom Floyd, who went out last season with a bad neck injury. Looked nice seeing them connect again. And then again with a 20 yard run from Ryan Mathews where he was not even touched. Looked like a great call from Reich and even better choice of hole from Mathews. That’s the last we would see of the Chargers scoring as Carson Palmer and the Cardinals would learn that with the pass rush, they could make Rivers uneasy and make silly mistakes.
Everyone sets Palmer up to be some washed up QB, but in reality he isn’t all that bad, at least against the Chargers. Palmers’ career stats against the Chargers: 148/212, 2,036 yards, 14 TDs, 3 INTs (9 sacks). Put the sacks in there to show he didn’t have all day to throw. Only team he’s better against? Da Bears. But as Palmer was climbing, Fitzgerald was only targeted once until the 4th quarter. May have been the Brandon Flowers effect, but in the 4th he was targeted 3 more times, which involved some serious gains of yards. In the 4th Stephan Taylor was able to come down with a 5 yard pass for a touchdown and from a pick from Philip with 6 minutes left on the clock, he was able to give another to John Brown; a 13 yard pass. Chargers had one more chance, but failed on a 4th down conversion which allowed the Cardinals to complete the comeback and win the game.
Overall, Gates was doing not-like-Gates things with dropping passes, Manti Te’o looked good until he allowed a touchdown to be thrown right in front of him, Danny Woodhead was registered useless because it shows Reich does not know how to use him, Eddie Royal got way TOO MANY looks(all of those looks should have been going to Woodhead, honestly). Oh! And Hardwick getting hurt.. again. On the good side: the Rookies, Jason Verrett(the First-Round pick) and Jeremiah Attaochu(Second-Round pick) looked great. Verrett was able to keep great coverage on whoever he was playing, making great tackles, breaking up passes, all of that. Attaochu went off; Blocked punt which gave great yardage and a forced fumble from Palmer which would result in a Chargers touchdown. Overall, the game was a heartbreaker and the same old Chargers we were used to saying aside from a few players. Frank Reich needs to learn what to do with this offense, and quick. They play the defending Super Bowl Champions, Seattle Seahwaks in their home opener at Qualcomm Stadium. And I would like to see something aside from a complete blowout like the preseason game.