The San Diego Chargers hit the road for the second consecutive week when they travel to Glendale, Arizona to take on the Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm.
A Look Back At Last Week
The Bolts dropped to 0-2 on the preseason with a 33-28 loss to the Chicago Bears. San Diego trailed 20-0 before mounting a comeback, but they couldn’t get over the hump as
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
The Chargers brought in a new offensive coordinator in Ken Whisenhunt, who spent the previous six seasons at the helm of the Arizona Cardinals. Leading the attack is
On Offense for the Cardinals
Former Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer takes over as the Cardinals’ new starting quarterback in 2013. While the Cardinals must replace four starters on the offensive line, one constant is wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, one of the NFL’s most-dangerous pass catchers. The Cardinals’ leading receiver each of the last six seasons, Fitzgerald ranks 33rd in receiving yards in NFL history. He has 764 career catches, 10,413 yards and 77 touchdowns.
On Defense for the Chargers
John Pagano returns for his second year as defensive coordinator, looking to build upon an impressive 2012. Some of the brightest young defensive linemen in the league constitute the front three in the form of Corey Liuget,
On Defense for the Cardinals
Defensively, Arizona must replace its top three tacklers from a season ago, but they still have the ever-present Patrick Peterson, who doubles as their leading cornerback and punt return specialist. Last season, Peterson picked off seven passes to rank fourth in the NFL. Defensive end Calais Campbell, second on the squad in 2012 with 6.5 sacks, anchors the front of Arizona’s 3-4 defense.
San Diego leads the all-time preseason series 10-9, having won the last four contests. In the regular season, the Bolts lead the all-time series 9-3.
By the Numbers
In 2012, the Chargers ranked 31st in total offense (297.2 yards per game), 24th in passing (205.9 ypg), 27th in rushing (91.3 ypg) and 20th in points (21.9). The Cardinals ranked 32nd in total offense (263.1 ypg), 28th in passing (187.8 ypg), 32nd in rushing (75.2 ypg) and 31st in points (15.6)
Defensively, the Bolts ranked ninth in total defense (326.4 ypg), 18th in passing (230.1 ypg), sixth in rushing (96.4 ypg) and 16th in points allowed (21.9). Arizona ranked 12th in total defense (337.8 ypg), fifth in passing (200.8 ypg), 28th in rushing (137.0 ypg) and 17th in points allowed (22.3).
A Look Back at 2012
Antonio Gates caught seven touchdown passes to raise his career total to 83 and became the franchise’s all-time leader in that category, surpassing Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth. Gates extended his streak of at least seven touchdown catches to nine seasons.
Philip Rivers passed for 3,606 yards and 26 touchdowns to extend his team-record streaks of 3,500-yards passing and 25 touchdowns to five seasons. Only five quarterbacks in NFL history can claim five or more consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes. That list includes Peyton Manning (1998-2012), Brett Favre (1994- 98), Dan Marino (1984-88), Drew Brees (2006-12) and Aaron Rodgers (2008-12). Rivers also passed John Hadl’s career yardage total during the season to become the second-most prolific passer in team history. Rivers finished the season with the NFL’s seventh-best completion percentage (64.1) and he is the team’s career leader in that category (63.6).
The Chargers’ defense had a team record-tying 11 sacks in a Dec. 23 win against the New York Jets, including 3.5 from rookie Kendall Reyes, the most by a Chargers rookie since 1986, and two from Corey Liuget. Reyes, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2012, finished the year third on the team with 5.5 sacks, while Liuget, the squad’s top pick in the 2011 draft, finished the year second on the squad with seven. For the season, Reyes paced the defensive line with 19 quarterback pressures and 15 quarterback hits, while Liuget ended the year as the defensive line’s leader in sacks, tackles (61), tackles for loss (15) and passes defensed (9).
Eric Weddle led the team in tackles (111) for the first time in his career and he tied for the team lead with three interceptions. The Chargers scored a total of seven defensive touchdowns in 2012, second in the NFL to Chicago’s 12, and two shy of the San Diego team record. The 1961 Chargers returned nine interceptions for touchdowns to set the mark while last year the Bolts returned five interceptions and two fumbles for scores.
The Chargers were in virtually every game they played in 2012. Their seven wins came by an average of 13.4 points, while all but two losses were close. Only defeats to Atlanta and Carolina were by margins greater than 11 points, while San Diego’s other defeats were by margins of 7, 11, 1, 10, 3, 3 and 7 points.
Thanks to the powerful right leg of
Offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt was the Cardinals head coach from 2007-12.
Chargers kicker Nick Novak went to training camp with the Cardinals in 2006.
Special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer spent the 2007-12 seasons in the same capacity for the Cardinals.
Secondary coach Ron Milus spent the 2003 season coaching defensive backs in Arizona.
Quarterbacks coach Frank Reich coached the Cardinals’ wide receivers in 2012.
Defensive quality control coach Chad Grimm spent the 2009-12 seasons as an offensive quality control coach with the Cardinals.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Dan Fouts (play-by-play), Billy Ray Smith (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)