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Chargers win with late FG over Cardinals 33-31

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap?gid=20070825022" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Andrew Bagnato

    <img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070826/capt.5ec2e7d9607b4efbb7817b6ce1edb2c7.chargers_cardinals_football_pnp103.jpg" title="San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles (43) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. " alt="San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles (43) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. " align="right" height="224" width="184" />GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Even without LaDainian Tomlinson, the San Diego offense was in midseason form.

    Luckily for Arizona's defense, it's still the preseason.

    With quarterback Philip Rivers finding receivers all over the field, the Chargers first-team offense moved the ball at will against the Cardinals first-string defense in a 33-31 victory on Saturday night.

    Arizona (0-3) appeared to have it won when third-team quarterback Shane Boyd hit Matt Trannon for a 5-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cardinals a 31-30 lead with 1:05 to play. But Arizona's reserve defense let San Diego (2-1), led by Billy Volek, drive 53 yards on seven plays to set up a 37-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding with 2 seconds to go. It was Kaeding's fourth field goal.

    The Chargers first-team offense mounted four drives of at least 64 yards in the first two quarters and one series in the third quarter. If their offense plays like this all season, they may find themselves back in Glendale for the Super Bowl next Feb. 3.

    The only bright side for Arizona's beleaguered defense was a couple of forced fumbles deep in its own territory. Cardinals linebacker Gerald Hayes recovered one fumble and forced the other.

    Rivers completed 20-of-29 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He hit Vincent Jackson for touchdowns of 33 and 6 yards.

    Arizona's Matt Leinart also had a good night, completing 10-for-16 for 196 yards and a touchdown. He did not play after halftime.

    "I feel good but I have to continue to get better and continue to get in my playbook," Leinart said in a halftime interview. "I have too many mental errors, and that is just something that I have to continue to get better at."

    The Cardinals knew their offense was solid. But it may have to be spectacular if the defense doesn't improve quickly. Arizona's defense ranked 29th in the NFL a year ago.

    The Chargers gained 265 yards in the first half, with Rivers completing 14-of-23 passes for 217 yards.

    On its first two possessions, San Diego marched 65 yards on 14 plays and 80 yards on 10 plays.

    The first drive led to a 33-yard Kaeding field goal. The Chargers converted three straight third downs on the drive, including a 24-yard pass from Rivers to Jackson on third-and-8 at their own 34.

    The second drive ended in a 19-yard burst up the middle by Darren Sproles, who faked safety Aaron Francisco to the turf and sprinted into the end zone.

    After the teams swapped field goals on their opening possessions, Arizona made it 10-3 on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Leinart to Anquan Boldin with 6:10 to go in the first quarter.

    Leinart stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure and found Boldin wide open behind Quentin Jammer at San Diego's 40, and Boldin outran the coverage.

    "We wanted to come out and make a statement," Boldin said at halftime. "Everybody around the league knows that the third preseason game is like a dress rehearsal, so we wanted to come out and show everybody what we were capable of."

    Boldin, a Pro Bowler last year, finished with five catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.

    Leinart's backup, Kurt Warner, fumbled on his first series but then led a 10-play, 77-yard drive that pulled the Cardinals within 27-24 late in the third quarter. Warner completed 6-of-7 passes for 78 yards in a little more than a quarter.


    Three other San Diego regulars -- defensive end Igor Olshansky, linebacker Matt Wilhelm and wide receiver Buster Davis -- also sat out. ... San Diego running back Michael Turner left with a sprained ankle in the first half and did not return.

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