Gameday Preview: Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers


Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

TV/Radio: Fox 10/KTAR 92.3 FM

The Arizona Cardinals take to the road to visit the San Diego Chargers .  Don’t let the records fool you.  San Diego is going to be one tough team to beat at home, especially with as beat up as the Cards offense seems to be.

The Cards will have three rookies in the mix on Sunday at wide receiver with Steve Breaston and Early Doucet out.  Stephen Williams steps into the starter role next to Larry Fitzgerald.  I’m not so concerned with Williams starting as I am with quarterback Derek Anderson getting the ball to him in crucial situations.  For the most part, I’ve tried to give Anderson the benefit of the doubt, but he will need to step up his game on Sunday.

Look for the Cards offense to run run and run some more.  Unfortunately the Chargers know this is coming, so hopefully coach Ken Whisenhunt has a few tricks up his sleeve.  The Chargers defense will make you pay for mistakes.  They have one of the best defenders in the league in Antonie Cason, a product of the University of Arizona.

The offense is also something to worry about.  Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates have quite a connection.  It is much like the connection Kurt Warner had with Larry Fitzgerald.   Arizona’s defense will have its hands full.

The intangible might be the special teams.  The Cards Larod Stephens-Howling returned the opening kickoff last week.  The Chargers gave up two kick returns to the Seattle SeahawksLeon Washington.  It should be interesting to see if maybe the Cards can make special teams the difference on Sunday.

Prediction:  San Diego is tough to beat.  Don’t pay attention to the record.  San Diego ran all over the Jacksonville Jaguars at home 38-13 a couple of weeks ago.  While I believe the Cards are much better than that, I still think without two of your top three receivers, leaving little guessing as to what the Cards game plan will be, the Chargers should prevail, but probably closer than many think.  San Diego 27 Arizona 23