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1st preseason game. Chance to see our new starting QB (Bradford) and rookie QBOF (Rosen). After tthat, emphasis figures to be on (1) roster battles and (2) how well various units played together.
Key roster battles to keep an eye on:
RB (Edmonds vs. Foster vs. Logan)? TE (Seven-way battle - inside favorites: Seals-Jones, and Holmes). WR (Wide open - Faves: Kirk, Nelson, 10 other guys).
Backup D-Line depth, Backup pass rusher and LB depth across all 3 positions. Starting CB; 17 DB's battling for a number of CB, safety and nickel spots.
Fill-ins for the final 5 or 6 roster spots.
Turnovers Guide Cards Past Bears
The Bottom Line:
Cards' first units opened play with near-flawless football for roughly 10 plays, but then the subs came in and were outplayed by Charger backups. Fortunately - with the help of four turnovers - the Cards managed to salvage a win.
Answering some of the obvious questions we had going into last night's contest:
Bradford looked like a playoff-ready starting QB.
If you watched the Charger-home TV coverage, Rosen looked like a very raw rookie - missing open receivers, holding onto the ball too long etc. But if you watched the NFL Network's pickup of Cardinal coverage, Josh (who several times had to reach down for low snaps) showed flashes of back-shoulder/tight-window accuracy.
Chase Edmonds is well on his way to nailing down the #2 backup spot behind David Johnson.
Speaking of JD ohnson, the starting offensive line looks unstoppable in the inside run-game.
Receiver roster battles remain: Fitz plus 11 guys named Tom, Dick and Harry."
Seals-Jones, Holmes and Vollert gained slightly more notice among7 TE's.
Team open field tackling was atrocious.
#2 CB battle is still far from being resolved with J Taylor, Benwikere and B Williams key contendersSecondary play was "up & down" (i.e. make a play & then give up one).
Source: NFL.com Website
Chargers at 15:00
TB on KO. 2 incompletions sandwiched around a 1-yard loss. 38 yd punt to Card 17. Kirk broke a long punt return only to fall victim to the Turf Monster at the Charger 45.
Cards at 13:43
David Johnson ripped off 2 inside runs of 14 yds apiece. Bradford mixed short passes to a variety of receivers with short runa by Edmonds. Cards reached the Charger 2 before Edmonds "swam" atop his blackers to score a TD on 4th & 2. XP Good. Cards 7 - Chargers 0.
Chargers at 8:02
KO returned to Charger 36. C Jones led them on an 11 play drive to the Card 47, where they settled for a 45-yd Sturgis FG. Longest play was a 12 yd run around RE by Gordon. Cards 7 - Chargers 3.
Cards at 1:52
TB on KO. Rosen in for Bradford. 3 & out (Minus 1-yd run, +6 yd completion to Foster, Incompletion). Punt called back. 2nd punt returned (net penalty) to Charger 27. One running play for +8 to end the first quarter
- First Quarter Score: Cards 7 - Chargers 3.
Niners (continued) at 15:00.
Ekeler ran up the middle for +20 yards to spearhead SD five-play drive to Cardinal 39. Jones fumble (aborted snap) recovered by Cards(PIerre) at AZ 39.
Cards at 1200
Cards ball at their own 39. After Rosen hit Holmes for +21, Card drive stalled at SD 39. . Lee punted - TB on punt.
Chargers at 9:47
Jones sacked for minus-7. Fumble on deep pass to Culkin nullified by roughness penalty. Chargers reached the Card 47 in 7 more plays.Kaser's punt downed at Cardinal 4.
Cards at 5:06
Cards went 3 & out. Face mask penalty on punt put ball on the Charger 33.
Chargers at 3:28
A 39-yd completion to Ekeler on 3rd & 7 spearheaded a 7-play SD drive that ended with a missed 41-yard FG by Sturgis.
Cards at 1:16
Cards took over on their own 31. It took them 9 plays to reach the SD 44 and run out of downs. Lee's punt was fair caught at the Charger 9.
Chargers at 0:27
SD ran off one play to end the 2nd quarter.
Halfitme Score: Cards 7 - Chargers 3
Cardinals at 15:00
KO returned 24 yds by Logan. Cards' ball at their own 21. Glennon in for Rosen. Glennon sacked for minus-six to help derail opening Cardinal drive. Punt (net penalty) returned to Charger 12.
Chargers at 12:33
G Smith 4 pass to Watt fumbled (forced by Benwikere_ and retrurned by Cash 12 yrds for a touchdown. (Challenged denied). Cards 14 - Chargers 3.
Chargers at 12:23
KO returned 39 yards to Charger 35. Two plays later, Smith's pass for Davis was intercepted by Howard and returned 7 yds to the Cardinal 48.
Cardinals at 10:45
Three & out. TB on punt.
Chargers at 9:41
Chargers ball on their own 20. Smith hit on a couple of short passes but drive was derailed by a seven-yd sack (by Capi). They punted six plays later.
Cardinals at 7:01
Punt (net penalty) downed at Cardinal 6. They went 3 & out and punted from their own 13.
Chargers at 5:36
A 37 yd run by Newsome wasnullified by penalty but, two plays later, Smith hit G Davis deep left for a 47 yd TD. XP good. Cards 14. - Chargers 10
Cardinals at 2:04
KO returned to Card 26. Two plays later Glennon's pass for Ross was intercepted by Facsyon and returned to the Cardinal 47.
Chargers at 1:15
After a minus-3 yd sack (by Capi), the 3rd quarter ended with the SD ball in the Cardinal 29.
- Third Quarter Score:Cards 14 - Chargers 10.
- After a helmet butting penalty on Dixon, Newsome ran up the middle for a 6-yd TD. Chargers 17 - Cards 10.
Cardinals at 14:34
- KO returned to the Card 19. Three & out.
Chargers at 12:48
Punt returned to Charger 27. 3 & out.
Cardinals at 11:42
Kanoff in for Glennon. ON 3r play of drive, Kanoff hit B Williams for a 14-yd TD. Cards 21 - Chargers 17.
Chargers at 10:06
KO returned to Charger 24. On the 3rd play of the possession, Smith was sacked by Capi (fumble recovered by James).
Cardinals at 8:03
Card ball on SD 15. 4 plays later, McCrane was good from 28-yds. Cardinals 24 - Chargers 17.
Chargers at 6:43
TB on KO. Drive stalled on a 4th & 5 incompletion at the Card 46.
Cardinals at 4:14
Card ball on downs at their own 46. Three runs for meh by Badie. Punt was fair caught at the Charger 11. Penalty-ridden 9-play SD drive ended with the cloce running out at the Card 10. ee.
Final Score: Cards 24 - Chargers 17
Notable Game Stats.
6 tacklers had 3 or more tacklers (Ford, Gardeck, Campbell, B Williams, Capi, Reddick
Capi was credited with 3 sacks. Pierre 1 sack
Bradford looks ready.
Still too early to evaluate Rosen.
D Johnson looked almost magical.
Our take-aways won it for us in spite of our being outplayed by Charger backup players overall.
The Dark Side
Open field tackling was atrocious
Lots of questions remain unanswered
As of right now, our usuable QB depth consists pf Bradford and maybe Kanoff. Gott be better and more consistent
Not a pretty outting, but not fatal (yet). We're still in "player evaluation mode" but are fast closing in on "need to execute perfectly mode" (& we're not there yet).