Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers
The Arizona Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers meet for a week three preseason game in Phoenix. The Chargers are -3 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 39.
After big success in his first two seasons as Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Ken Whisenhunt’s team took a big step backwards last year and look to bounce back in a big way this year. The Cardinals first order of business when the lock out was over was to get better at QB and they did it in a hurry acquiring Kevin Kolb from Philadelphia. Arizona is hoping Kolb injects an immediate life into an offense which struggled vertically since Kurt Warner retired. Once they acquired Kolb the Cardinals locked up Larry Fitzgerald with a long term deal but with Fitz’s compliment bolting each of the last two season’s it’s up to Andre Roberts, Early Doucet or one of the many receivers in Cardinals camp to step up. The Arizona running game suffered a serious blow when rookie Ryan Williams went down for the season in last week’s game which leaves the running game up to Beanie Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and Alfonso Smith but I wouldn’t be surprised if they brought someone in. After the past few years the Cardinals have lost huge pieces of their defense and it doesn’t seem that they have been able to replace players like Karlos Dansby and Antrelle Rolle and that’s been a huge reason for the drop off. Adrian Wilson is one of the most under rated played in all of the NFL always seemingly coming up with big plays. Joey Porter laces up the cleats for another season at linebacker while Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett anchor the defensive line. Arizona plays in one of the softer divisions in the NFL so they have a chance to do something but they are going to need to address the issues at running back and Kolb will need to live up to his billing. This will be the last dress rehearsal for the starters so look for Koplb to get plenty of work with Fitzgerald and the rest of the receivers.
The San Diego Chargers had the number one offense and the number one defense in the NFL last season yet failed to make the playoffs; this year Norv Turner’s team is thinking Super Bowl. Phillip Rivers isn’t on everyone’s friend list in the NFL but he’s a gutsy and talented leader and winner and tough as nails and with a full season with Vincent Jackson at wide receiver it should be a huge boost. A healthy Antonio Gates can also do nothing but make Rivers all that much better. Ryan Mathews didn’t live up to his billing last season but expect him to bounce back but Mike Tolbert has already proven to be a worthy contributor and rookie Jordan Todman has been exciting during the preseason. Eric Weddle is one of the highest paid defenders in football and almost any GM would say he’s worth it as he’s one of those players who always makes plays and is always in the right position. Takeo Spikes and Bob Sanders come over this season to add solid veteran play as if Sanders can stay healthy he and Weddle may be one of the best safety tandems in the league. Antonio Garay solidifies the middle of the defensive line while Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire are on the ends as the Chargers hope to bring some heat to opposing QB’s. While San Diego knows where they are with their roster it’s tough for Rivers to leave any game so expect him and the starters to play plenty.
Look for both teams to open up the offense and for points to be plentiful. Take the over 39 here.