TV Schedule: Monday, Sept. 8, 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: U of Phoenix Stadium
Weather: 89 high, 73 low
Line: Arizona (-3.5)
The AFC West managed to get three of its four teams into the playoffs last season. The only team that did not make it was the Oakland Raiders.
QB Carson Palmer threw for 4,274 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, but he also had 22 picks. For Arizona to be successful, that number has to come down. Luckily for Palmer, WR Larry Fitzgerald is back and is primed for a big season. However, Fitzgerald is clearly not the only good receiver on the team and actually finished second in yards behind Michael Floyd last season.
It will be up to the Cardinals’ defense to stop Philip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers’ offense. Rivers is coming off of a season where he threw 4,478 yards, 32 TDs and 11 picks. It was actually a very good and underrated performance by Rivers.
Rivers still has plenty left in the tank and San Diego is going to be counting on him to lead the team to victory in 2014.
Arizona has the home-field advantage, but I have to go with the Chargers in this one. Although it is a new season, San Diego managed to win its last for games of the regular season in 2013.
It could be an interesting season for both teams, but it is the Chargers who pull off the win in this one.
PREDICTION: Chargers 28, Cardinals 21