Sep 8, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) catches a pass as San Diego Chargers cornerback Shareece Wright (29) pursues during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Neither the Arizona Cardinals or San Diego Chargers could muster much on offense in the second quarter but rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro was able to hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Cards a 6-3 lead.
The biggest mistake was from the Cards special teams. Punter Drew Butler, punting for Dave Zastudil, had a punt blocked that led to the 3-3 tie. It was a nice stand by the Cards defense though that held the Chargers to just a field goal.
Neither running game has been able to get going. Cards running back Andre Ellington had the fumble in the first quarter. Backup running back Jonathan Dwyer has been mostly a non factor in the running game but picked quarterback Carson Palmer up a couple of times with short receptions when he was in trouble.
What had an early feel of a lot of offensive scoring now feels like a huge defensive battle. Palmer ran his way out of a couple of sacks and even drew the Chargers into a pass interference penalty on one of them.
On defense linebacker Larry Foote has been all over the field and been a beast. Cornerback Jerraud Powers picked off Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers at the end of the first half. Rookie Deone Bucannon has made a couple of nice plays. But in the end the Chargers shot themselves in the foot several times. Chargers defensive end Dwight Freeney missed a couple of sacks. Tight end Antonio Gates and receiver Eddie Royal both dropped very catchable passes. I’d look for some of the early game issues to settle down and adjustments from both teams on both sides of the ball.