Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers

Aug 25, 2013, 1:59 AM | Updated: 5:19 am

End of game

Chargers take a few knees and that’ll do it. Chargers win 24-7, and the Cardinals looked bad at best, inept at worst in the process. Let’s hear what they have to say.

2:00 left in fourth quarter

It’s the two minute warning and the Chargers have the ball at their own 45. At this point the goal seems to be to run out the clock and get out of here. I’m not opposed to the plan.

4:34 left in fourth quarter

Ryan Lindley, who is not guaranteed a roster spot, is now in the game at quarterback. Ryan Williams is also in, so there’s some level of intrigue.

But that’s about it.

6:37 left in fourth quarter

We’re into the fun part of the game now. Chargers have the ball deep in their territory with a QB I’ve never heard of. And many a fan is heading for the exit.

9:29 left in fourth quarter

Stanton hits D.C. Jefferson for a short gain (Jefferson getting real involved lately) and it’s now 4th and 1 at the Arizona 44. Cardinals are going for it.

12:36 left in fourth quarter

Defense forces a punt, which Mike Thomas returns to the Arizona 25.

End of third quarter

Chargers have the ball on their own 24 facing a 3rd and 5. It’s also now the fourth quarter of a preseason game, so…yeah.

:57 left in third quarter

Series ends when Nate Potter gets destroyed attempting to block, which led to Thomas Keiser destroying Drew Stanton.

2:11 left in third quarter

Andre Ellington returns the ball 35 yards to the Arizona 33. THey’ll start from there. Oh, and Ryan Williams is in the game and got a carry.

2:19 left in third quarter

San Diego drive stalls, but Novack comes in and boots a 50-yard field goal through the uprights. 24-7 visitors.

3:36 left in third quarter

Drew Stanton and the second team offense entered the game, and they got the ball near midfield before disaster struck in the form of D.C. Jefferson getting hit while making a catch, which forced the ball into the air and then into the arms of San Diego’s Andre Gachkar.

There are many words one could use to describe this game from Arizona’s perspective, and most are probably not suitable for this website. So, we’ll just say it’s been rather bad.

6:10 left in third quarter

Chargers respond to Arizona’s touchdown with one of their own. Whitehurst leads a very quick and efficient drive, and that won’t make Cards’ DC Todd Bowles or coach Bruce Arians too happy.

21-7 Chargers.

8:19 left in third quarter

Palmer immediately hits Michael Floyd with a nicely-thrown ball in the back of the end zone, and the second-year WR does a great job of getting his feet and toes in bounds for the score. It’s the first Cardinals TD pass in this stadium since Week 6 last year against the Bills, and even though it doesn’t count you can’t help but smile a bit.

14-7 Chargers.

8:46 left in third quarter

Refs overturn the call and rule it a fumble, but say it was clearly recovered by Roberts so it’s Arizona’s ball at the San Diego 16. How ’bout that.

8:46 left in third quarter

Think Carson Palmer is frustrated tonight? He’s had receivers stop routes, drop touchdown passes and otherwise misplay other pretty easy catches. The latest miscue comes from Andre Roberts, who looks to have caught a nicely thrown ball before fumbling down the field. It was ruled incomplete on the field, but the Chargers challenged the call.

9:13 left in third quarter

Cardinals are moving the ball with Alfonso Smith picking up good yardage on the ground, but his latest carry may come at a pretty high cost. Rookie guard Jonathan Cooper is down on the field, looks like this could be a knee injury. Doesn’t look good.

Cardinals managed to go virtually unscathed through the first two preseason games…tonight, not so fortunate.

10:42 left in third quarter

Defense gets a stop, and a 45-yard punt is returned 24 yards by Patrick Peterson. Offense back on the field, beginning at the 30.

13:30 left in third quarter

Chargers, now led by QB Charlie Whitehurst (remember when Whiz and the Cards were after that guy? Wow), get the ball to start the half. First team defense still on the field, which for some reason still includes Jerraud Powers.

:25 left in second quarter

Uhhh, where do we start? Cards get Ryan Mathews to fumble the ball at around the one-yard line, it is scooped up by Rashad Johnson who, upon getting up and nearly tackles, tries to lateral to Sam Acho. Because, you know, Acho was ready to run 100 yards to the end zone. Anyway, that ball is coughed up, recovered by San Diego and taken into the end zone.

And then Levi Brown whiffs on blocking Dwight Freeney, who levels Carson Palmer to end the first half.

14-0 Chargers, and it feels plenty worse than that.

2:00 left in second quarter

The two minute warning arrives with the Chargers driving at the Arizona 37. Defense not able to come up with much pressure of late.

4:20 left in second quarter


Cardinals get into the red zone and then, on third down, watch as a perfectly thrown ball by Palmer is dropped by tight end Rob Housler in the end zone. Because, you know, that’s how things are going tonight.

Then, to add insult to insult, Matt Carpenter’s field goal attempt is blocked.

How’s your Saturday night treating you?

9:37 left in second quarter

Palmer hits Fitz for a 14-yard gain, and there is no penalty so it actually counts! Alfonso Smith runs for nine on the next play, and the Cardinals are moving the football.

10:22 left in second quarter

Matt Shaughnessy pressures Rivers, whose throw is tipped and picked off by linebacker Jasper Brinkley. Nice job by the D coming up with the turnover, let’s see if it provides the offense with a spark.

Cards’ ball on their own 47.

11:51 left in second quarter

Cards go three-and-out. It wasn’t pretty. Long punt return sets the Chargers up at the Arizona 45.

13:09 left in second quarter

Defense does its job that series, holding the Chargers to a three-and-out. Punt is fair caught by Patrick Peterson, and the Cards will take the ball at their own 34.

14:48 left in second quarter

This sums up what happened on third down:

Incomplete pass leads to a punt, which is fair caught at the 13.

End of first quarter

Well this is a bit better.

Running game is picking up yards and Palmer has looked alright. Of course, for the second-straight week a big pass play to Fitz was called back due to a holding penalty on Levi Brown, so that’s not good. Also not good tonight: Levi Brown.

Cards face a 3rd and 4 at the San Diego 45.

2:44 left in first quarter

Javier Arenas takes the kickoff tot he 23, which is where Arizona’s offense will go to work. And while it’s been nice of them to pay homage to Ken Whisenhunt by looking incompetent, no doubt folks in red would like to see something happen here.

2:50 left in first quarter

The drive kept going and going and going and going until Ryan Mathews leapt into the end zone from a yard out. Not a good defensive series for Arizona, as they were gashed all throughout and even picked up a personal foul penalty courtesy of Ronald Talley.

And, for the first time in the Bruce Arians era, the Cardinals trail.

5:47 left in first quarter

Rivers connects with Woodhead for a first down, and the Chargers’ drive continues. Cards’ defense doing very little of note so far, generating little pressure and not exactly sticking to receivers.

9:41 left in first quarter

The Cards netted all of three total yards on their drive, and punt it away after Palmer’s third-down pass falls incomplete.

Worth noting the QB was hit again, as the offensive line seems to be struggling with keeping Palmer upright. Big — and concerning — change from the first two games.

Punt is fair caught at the San Diego eight.

11:10 left in first quarter

Chargers don’t go very far, and a third down pass falls incomplete (and would have been well short of a first down had it been caught. Oh Ken Whisenhunt, your offense slays me.

Anyway, Nick Novak’s 51-yard field goal attempt is no good, and the Cards take over on their own 41.

13:06 left in first quarter

Drive stalls, though, after Palmer is hit for the first time this preseason and a third down pass to Patrick Peterson falls incomplete. Dave Zastudil’s punt is blocked, and now the Chargers have the ball on the Arizona 34. Oops.

14:08 left in first quarter

Cards start with the ball on their own 25. First play is a Carson Palmer pass to Larry Fitzgerald that was caught with one hand. Fitz being Fitz. Throw could have been better.

Second play is a Rashard Mendenhall run that was good for 22 yards. Ofense? Neat.

3:00 left before kickoff

National anthem done, media meal eaten (great mac & cheese tonight, by the way), and a “sellout” crowd in its seats ready for this one.

As for the game, it is the third preseason contest of the season which, for the most part, means it’s the most important of the four. The starters are expected to play into the second half, so it will be interesting to see how they do against a team that, like them, is entering the season with middling expectations.

Oh, and you think Darnell Dockett is looking to make a statement against an offense led by former Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt?

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