With the two teams set to face one another in the opener of the 2014 regular season in just 11 days time, the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers were not willing to show much in both teams’ final exhibition tune-up Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium.
It’s the reason head coach Bruce Arians gave Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton the night off, opting instead to start third-string quarterback Logan Thomas for all 60 minutes of game action.
But faced with playing alongside more or less a second-team offensive line, backfield and receiving corps, Thomas looked every bit the part of a 2014 fourth-round pick.
While he managed to lead the Cardinals down the field for three points in the opening minutes of the first quarter — connecting with fellow rookie Troy Niklas in the process on passes of nine and 23 yards respectively — the former Virginia Tech standout was largely ineffective the rest of the night.
Thomas finished the evening — one in which Arizona fell to San Diego by a final of 12-9 — 9-of-21 for 73 yards to go along with an interception on the Cardinals’ final possession of the preseason affair.
“Offensively, there really wasn’t anything to write home about,” Arians told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Paul Calvisi Thursday night. “It was a poor performance by a bunch of guys.”
Under Thomas’ direction, Arizona’s offense went three-and-out on five different occasions. The rookie was also sacked three times, fumbled twice and failed to retain possession once in the second quarter.
Although both fumbles were largely the result of poor protection from Bradley Sowell and Nate Potter, it was a long night for the 23-year-old even when he did have time — overthrew Zach Bauman and Brittan Golden on deep balls in the fourth quarter.
For the preseason, Thomas combined to go 22-of-40 for 207 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.