Looks like we’re in for a season full of shootouts!


33 – 31: the San Diego Chargers take the win over the Arizona Cardinals with a last second field goal.

Silver lining?……

The offense went shot for shot, blow for blow, punch for punch with one of the most potent offensive teams in the league and hung in there until the very end. The Cards’ first team offensive unit (minus RB Edgerrin James who sat voluntarily) looked awesome! QB Matt Leinart put on another impressive display with a 10 for 16, 196 yard, 1 TD effort in two quarters of play. WR Anquan Boldin looked unstoppable gathering in 5 receptions for 143 yards and a TD while the offensive line continued their solid play by giving all 3 QBs plenty of time in the pocket. The offense looks sharp and ready to put up big numbers.

Now for the bad news……

The defense turned in its second straight lackluster performance, allowing over 250 yards of total offense during the first half alone by Philip Rivers and company, and this was without all world RB Ladanian Tomlinson in the lineup. However, with weapons like TE Antonio Gates and RB Michael Turner (who many around the league agree could be starter on just about any other NFL team), it’s easy to see how the defense could give up 17 points in the first half.

Now it’s well known that during the preseason defensive coordinators run a very “vanilla style” of defense that is relatively free of creative blitz schemes/packages and multiple defensive looks which normally confuse opposing QBs. The Cards D has been no different, running a standard 4-3 package the last two games. But the defense was just reacting to the Chargers offense instead of trying to dictate the action and it just looked like an overall poor performance by a group that seems young and inexperienced.

Bottom Line: We need to hope that Def. Coordinator Clancy Pendergast has alot of tricks saved up his sleeve for the regular season, or the Leinart, Edge and Co. will have to win a few shootouts while the defense struggles to find its groove.

Mike Duggan