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Game Review: Chargers vs. Cardinals

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/33/fullj.getty-76072252jr013_chargers_cardinals.jpg" title="GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 25: Nate Kaeding #10 of the San Diego Chargers kicks the game winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL game on August 25, 2007 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 33-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)" alt="GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 25: Nate Kaeding #10 of the San Diego Chargers kicks the game winning field goal against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL game on August 25, 2007 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 33-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)" height="204" width="307" />

    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    The third preseason game of the 2007 year, one in which we see the starters getting more starting time. The team came out in their away white uniforms, and Ron Pitts and Billy Ray Smith mentioned that the Coaches are liking what they see out of Legedu Naanee. That can only bode well for him with roster cuts looming on Tuesday, 8/28.

    The announcers kept referring to the Chargers as the Ferrari of the league. I can understand that, but this season will be no cake walk. But the Chargers have the people and the ability to get the job done.

    On the opening kick off Antonio Cromartie misses the tackle and JJ Arington takes it out 68 yards for a return that had me frowning. Then the Defense comes on and starts out looking good and Shaun Philips continues to pressure QBs. Jammer ends the drive by knocking the ball away from the receiver as he caught the ball. Neil Rackers of the Cardinals scores a 50 yard field goal. This was set up by a very good return by the Cardinals.

    On our first return Sproles was in the backfield. He took the kick off deep in the end zone and kneeled down to bring the ball to the 20. On the first offensive play Rivers hit Lo'Neal for about eight yards. Neal still likes to hit people it seems. Turner has a short run bringing up 3rd and 1. Lo'Neal got the next carry for the first down. Lo'Neal is definitely a Hall of Fame candidate when he stops playing.

    The first team offensive unit came out looking good, really mixing up the plays. The drive ends in a field goal as the Cardinal defender knocks the ball away from Naanee on the five yard line. Possibly a little early with the contact, but no flag.

    The next Cardinal drive ended with a long touchdown. Someone missed their coverage on that one. Jammer had the under coverage and the Safety was missing on the top side.

    Both teams defenses helped make the Quarterbacks look good. There was little pressure on the QBs on both sides, and open areas in both defensive backfields.

    The Chargers were far more focused today as there were fewer flags thrown their way. In the first half there were no penalties assessed against the Chargers. The first half ended in a 17 to 17 tie with Philip Rivers going 14/23 for 217 yards and a touchdown. Definitely regular season form for our starting signal caller!

    It was not until the middle of the third quarter that the Chargers got their first yellow hanky thrown their way. It came on a mystery pass interference assessed against Antonio Gates as Rivers was getting taken down by two defenders.

    To begin the second half the Chargers offensive unit went on a clock grinding drive that went 80 yards in 11 plays and took nearly 7 minutes off of the clock. It was a drive that showed Rivers is ready for the regular season as he passed Peyton Manning as the passing leader so far on the week as he went 20 or 29 for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Regular season numbers as Rivers ended his night on a high note.

    Billy Volek came in with one minute left and took the team down to field goal range where the Nate booted the winning field goal to give the Chargers a 33 to 31 victory.

    <strong>Who was looking good?: </strong>
    <strong>83 Vincent Jackson:</strong> Running good routs hauling down balls in the middle of the field. Vincent Jackson caught his second touchdown of the evening early in the second quarter to put the Chargers up 24 to 17. 4 catches for 92 yards and two touch downs. Not bad VJ, not bad at all!

    <strong>80 Malcom Floyd:</strong> Catching in traffic with people on him. He will be our first receiver this season. Floyd ended his night with 3 catches for 29 yards, including a 16 yard haul.

    <strong>85 Antonio Gates:</strong> he picked up where he left off last season grabbing the football for long gains. In the third quarter Antonio had a flag thrown his way for a pass interference that was not seen on the television. 4 catches for 56 yards and a catch of 23 yards. He is ready for the real games.

    <strong>43 Darren Sproles:</strong> he made a nice 19 yard touchdown run on the second offensive drive to put the Chargers in the position to tie the game. With this TD I will say it; Sproles has made this team, the Turk will not come visiting this boy! At this rate Sproles will be our replacement for Turner when he leaves. He is showing the ability to run, catch and make the return. Sproles did it all, he had 6 rushes for 20 yards and a touchdown. He also impacted the receiving game, as he was second in receiving yards on the evening catching for 73 yards on 6 receptions.

    <strong>48 Nick Roach:</strong> Recovers a fumble on the ensuing kick off after the Chargers score their first TD. This kid is making a case for remaining on the active roster.

    <strong>95 Shaun Philips:</strong> he was around the ball all night long. Shaun continues to play well even in the vanilla defense that is shown in the preseason.

    <strong>Philip Rivers:</strong> Rivers is for real, he is playing well already at regular season form. I am impressed with his ability to go through his reads and see the whole field. In the second Quarter Philip threw a 33 yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson that was on a rope.

    <strong>59 Brandon Siler:</strong> he has shown the ability to be a special teams gunner. He was flying down making stops all night long!

    <strong>40 Legedu Naanee:</strong> he showed that he is willing to go all out on special teams and that he can contribute in the passing game. I think Naanee has earned a spot on the team, at least as a special teamer.

    <strong>81 Kassim Osgood:</strong> Kassim came in and made some key catches for the offense.

    <strong>In the middle:</strong>
    <strong>41 Lorenzo Neal:</strong> does this guy ever age? He opened the game with a catch, some carries, and he appears to just be getting younger. I love his desire to lay the hit on the opponent. In the second quarter Neal had a play where he flipped over the defender and went on for about six more yards. It resulted in a fumble which was challenged by Coach Turner. The result was the play stands, and the Chargers lost the ball. But the athleticism shown was impressive.

    <strong>Turnovers:</strong> the Chargers look like they are going to be the ball hawking team we all want them to be. In the middle of the third quarter the Chargers got their third fumble recovered on the night giving them a +1 on the give away / take away ratio. This was the third recovery on the night, erasing the earlier fumbles by MT and Lo'Neal.

    <strong>Who was looking bad?:</strong>
    <strong>Defensive Secondary:</strong> the first quarter the Chargers secondary gave up two big wide open plays. The coverage is breaking down far too often. Preseason or not, at this point we should start to see some cohesiveness in this unit. They are playing like individuals back there, not a team.

    <strong>Defensive Pressure on the QB:</strong> where was it? They made Leinart look like Peyton Manning because he has all day long to look for the receiver in the backfield, where the coverage is more often broken than not. Before the end of the first half Leinart was 6/9 for 160 years and a touchdown.

    <em>In the positive light:</em>
    The Chargers in preseason will not show what their real D is like. The Chargers are only moving one linebacker up every now and then. In the regular season the linebackers will be moving in and out seemingly at random.

    <strong>24 Cletis Gordon:</strong> His return of twelve yards to open the second half could only be called bad. His second return was muffed in the end zone, he manages to retrieve the ball but nearly caused a safety as he went the wrong way once he had it.

    <strong>33 Michael Turner:</strong> At the two minute break MT was carted off the field with ice on his ankle. The Cardinals were focusing on MT when ever he was in the game. Reports are a sprained ankle.

    <strong>In conclusion:</strong>
    This night was a good one for the Bolts, it answered a lot of questions. Rivers is ready for the season. Sproles is going to be on the team. The Wide Receivers are not the weak link on the team, they are for real. We have quality depth at running back beyond Michael Turner. With only two penalties assessed against the Chargers, they have shown that they can play disciplined football.

    However, our secondary has some serious work to do. They need to become a cohesive unit and not look as if they are a bunch of different individuals wearing the same uniform.

    The Turk starts to visit the players tonight, the team Wednesday will look different, not by much but the players who remain will be hungry, and focused on avoiding the Turk by impressing the coaches.

    In two weeks it is for real, I think we are ready. We have not show the whole defensive package, or even all we will do on offense. We have a good team that will do us proud. Lets support them in the manner they deserve!

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