Arizona Cardinals: Are You Ready For Some Football


Aug 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) hands the ball off in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals get to start the 2014 season off right, on Monday Night Football. Getting a spot on prime time tv usually means both teams are great. Not all the time, but in this case it is. The San Diego Chargers are a playoff caliber team with weapons everywhere. They have Pro Bowl players on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

Phillip Rivers has protection by left tackle King Dunlap and right tackle DJ Fluker. Rivers received the come back player of the years last season. He earned that title throwing the ball to Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal, and Antonio Gates. Rivers also has a three-headed monster in running backs Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, and Donald Brown.

Allen is probable with a rib injury for Mondays games. He probably will play with having three full practices. Gates is questionable with a hamstring. He`s only practice once while being limited. I would think he does`nt play and that would be great if he`s held out in this one. The Chargers still have tight end Ladarus Green who can pose a threat to the Cardinals` defense.

The Changers` defense is head up by Pro Bowlers cornerback Brandon Flowers and free safety Eric Weddle. Along with these two, this secondary also has their first round draft pick Jason Verrett. The front seven have solid players in right end Corey Liuget, outside linebackers Melvin Ingram and Dwight Freeney, inside linebacker Manti Te’o, and up and comer left end Kendell Reyes. This defense is as strong as they come and will be a big reason the Chargers make the playoffs again.

Te’o is questionable with a foot injury. He had a full practice on Friday. He probably will play Monday night. Verrett is probable with a shoulder. He most likely will also play.

The Cardinals have their own injuries as well. Andre Ellington is questionable with a foot injury. Tyrann Mathieu very well could miss this game. If he does play, I would`nt expect to see too much from him. Alex Okafor is also out for Monday`s match-up.

Either way, this match-up is still a good one on paper. Both teams are powerful and have good depth. If Carson Palmer is on the same page with his receivers, the Cardinals will be hard to stop. If the Chargers can create miss matches with the tight end, they will be hard to stop.

If both teams come out ready to play from the get go, this will be a battle til the end. When two teams like these come together, it`s usually the better coach who wins the game. Who can create the most miss matches and capitalize on them the most. I would expect the Cardinals winning this shoot out with the Chargers still learning a new system. Kinda like how the Rams won in week one last year.