Arizona Cardinals vs San Diego Chargers: Preview, prediction

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The Arizona Cardinals continue their AFC West preseason schedule as they host the San Diego Chargers.

The San Diego Chargers will travel to Glendale, Arizona for a rematch against the Arizona Cardinals. The Chargers (1-0) finished the 2014 season at 9-7, good for third in the AFC West, but did not qualify for the playoffs. On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals (0-1) finished last season at 11-5 and made the playoffs as a wild card team.

History: The Cardinals and Chargers have faced each other 12 times in the regular season, with the Cardinals playing 4 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have an all time 4-9 record against the San Diego Chargers. The latest win against the Chargers came this past season in the season opener on MNF. The Arizona Cardinals won thanks to a fourth quarter comeback lead by Carson Palmer, as he lead the offense to 12 unanswered fourth quarter points.

What: Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: 7:00 PM Arizona Time (10:00 PM EST)

TV: ABC 15

Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Keys to victory:

Carson Palmer and the first team offense got off to an excellent start in the last preseason game. The next best thing this unit could do is do the same thing against this Chargers defense. However, this is easier said than done. There is a lot of uncertainty on the offensive line. Starting left guard, Mike Iupati, is out for possibly 6 weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery. Bobby Massie who was expected to start is now possibly facing a 3 game suspension for being intoxicated behind the wheel.

With uncertainties on the offensive line, this will be the prime opportunity for players D.J. Humphries and Bradley Sowell to prove to the coaching staff that they should be filling in the holes on the offensive line since the first team offense will be playing for most of the first quarter. Ted Larsen and Earl Watford will also receive playing time with the first team.

Other than Carson Palmer, the rest of the quarterbacks have a lot more work to do. Back up Drew Stanton had a less than spectacular start to the season. He went 0-3 and looked rusty while he was playing. Although he is coming off a knee injury, he will need to continue to work on returning to the ability we all know he can perform at.

As of now, the third quarterback job is Logan Thomas’ lose. He looked much better than I expected him to be when he lead the offense against the Chiefs. Thomas showed great pocket presence, and several times moved up in the pocket to complete throws. He finished the night 9-15 for 107 yards with an interception. On the interception, the ball hit receiver Jaron Brown right in the chest, but it bounced off into the hand of a San Diego defender.

Phillip Sims had a so-so debut with the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the night 3 for 12 for 49 yards to go along with 1 touchdown. While his stat line left much to be desired, his ability to scramble is what amazed me. Countless times the offensive line collapsed around Sims and he was forced to scramble. Sims should get more time to prove he is the right man for the job as he and Logan Thomas will divide up playing time in the second half.