NFL Preseason: San Diego Chargers vs Arizona Cardinals

By Daniel Chi
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the winless San Diego Chargers (0-2) drop another game, they will try their luck out in the desert against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals (2-0) on Aug. 24, who is trying to revitalize their team from nothing into something in 2013.

The Chargers have come into this preseason just the way they ended their miserable 2012 season: talented, yet huge underachievers. In their latest game against the Chicago Bears, the Bolts once again found a way to lose a game that they could have won.

Statistically speaking, the Chargers put up good numbers, as they had 383 total yards of offense compared to the Bears’ 185. They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, luckily for the Chargers, that phrase held up. Unfortunately for them, Thor was disgusted with their play and allowed lightning to strike them four times in terms of turnovers that sealed the Chargers’ fate.

If anything went right for the Chargers, it was their running back Ryan Matthews, who was the lone star in a story that has an inevitable fate … failure. Although these numbers aren’t alarming or in any way make Chargers’ fans forget about LaDainian Tomlinson, they are a sign of improvement for the moment.

Matthews rushed the ball nine times for 45 yards, which were much better than his previous 19 yards on three carries. Then again, Matthews can’t go anywhere but up after seeing his rushing yards go from 1,091 to 707 and yards per carry go from 4.9 to 3.8 in 2012.

In the desert where temperatures hit a record high 114F, the weather was scorchingly hotter than the Cardinals’ offense, as they scored zero touchdowns. On the bright side, either the Dallas Cowboys are that bad holding on to the football, or the Cardinals’ defense was just in “Beast” mode in creating six turnovers.

From Dez Bryant fumbling to Dwayne Harris getting stripped on special teams, the Cardinals defense were all over the place causing three interceptions and three fumbles.

Besides their fantastic defense, the offense looked horrendous, as they failed to score a single touchdown even in the red zone. The Cardinals’ struggle begins with their best player in Larry Fitzgerald. Throughout the game, Fitzgerald seemed very frustrated as he is learning not only a new scheme on offense, but new receiver positions as well.

Frustration settled in on Fitzgerald’s face, and that pretty much summed up the offense for a Cardinals team that is desperately trying to create some type of fire. Fitzgerald did end up catching three passes for 44 yards, but to one of the best receivers in the game, he knows he can do more.

As lightning mixes with fire from the scorching hot desert of Arizona, both teams will be hoping that something can get them going.

For the turnover machine Chargers, they must hold on to the ball and not kill their drives with silly mishaps. Matthews will need to continue his impact from the tailback position if the Chargers are going to find ways to penetrate the Cardinals tough defense.

Scoring a touchdown will be the first step for the Cardinals, as the Chargers aren’t exactly known for their defensive prowess. Fitzgerald needs to adapt to the new scheme if the Cardinals want to jumpstart an offense that has no engine right now. Defense should have another opportunistic day, as they are going up against a team that is low on confidence and discipline.

Chargers and Cardinals should be an interesting game, but in the end, one team will either get burned or electrocuted. We shall see if the Chargers can finally win a game, or if the Cardinals protect their house and preserve their perfect preseason record.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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