SAN DIEGO — In case you did not know, these notes are not actually coming from what has come to be known as “the Nest.” But hey, if the NFL can broadcast “Monday Night Football” on a Saturday, then these notes can still be from the nest, even if they are being written from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Anyway, we’re here because the Cardinals, after spending the week here practicing against the Chargers, are set to face off with them in Week 2 of the preseason.
This has been a fairly eventful week for the team, which dealt with head coach Bruce Arians being hospitalized. B.A. was diagnosed with diverticulitis and is apparently fine — he is with the team tonight and expected to coach as he normally would.
The starters are set to see a little more action than they got last week, though you are still not likely to see them for more than a series or two.
And with that, here we go:
2:30 left in fourth quarter
Timeout on the field and time for me to head downstairs. Notes end here (as the clock ticks down). Catch up with everyone with some stories and notes. Should be…interesting.
3:00 left in fourth quarter
The Cardinals forced the Chargers into a third and long, but Bercovici connects with Deandre Reaves for 15 yards and a first down. Drive continues.
4:51 left in fourth quarter
Barkley continued to look good, finding receivers down the field for nice gains. The drive stalled, though, when Marquis Bundy was unable to hold onto a pass after taking a pretty solid hit. Catanzaro comes on for a 52-yard field goal, which was good, and the Cardinals are on the board.
The score is 19-3. Don’t call it a comeback.
9:42 left in fourth quarter
Bercovici has looked pretty good tonight, throwing players open and showing good accuracy/decision making. He sensed some pressure on third and five and decided to throw the ball away. Punt rolls into the end zone, and Arizona’s offense — still led by Barkley — will take over at the 20.
14:15 left in fourth quarter
Barkley took off and ran on third down but, not surprisingly, was unable to pick up 19 yards. Penalty flags all over on the ensuing punt, but the result of it all is the Chargers taking over at their 26.
End of third quarter
Cardinals showed life behind running back Kerwynn Williams, who broke off some nice runs, but a hands to the face penalty pushed them back and after an incomplete deep ball it is third and 19 from the 19.
1:25 left in third quarter
Cardinals don’t allow much of anything, and Donald Butler — a former Charger — makes a nice tackle on a third-and-1 run, stuffing the back at the line and forcing fourth down. After a delay of game the ball is booted away, and the return gets back to the Arizona 10.
3:54 left in third quarter
Fells continued to struggle as he picked up a false start penalty. The Cardinals then missed out on a chance for nice gain when Rob Crisp couldn’t get his block down on a screen, and on third and long a pass to Shipley went for not long enough.
Chandler Catanzaro came on and missed a 48-yard field goal so the Cardinals still have yet to crack the scoreboard.
7:26 left in third quarter
Darren Fells giveth, and Darren Fells taketh away. The TE came down with a nice catch on a third down pass from Barkley — who, by the way, looks fairly poised tonight — but then is called for a block in the back on a screen pass that was picking up good yardage.
So, it’s second and 10 from the San Diego 47.
10:25 left in third quarter
Kickoff goes for a touchback and Matt Barkley is now in the game at QB. First play is a pass to Jaxon Shipley that went for 11 yards and a first down. And they’re off!
10:30 left in third quarter
Cardinals defense holds — with the help of a Chargers penalty — after Trevon Hartfield made a nice play to break up a third-down pass. Chargers get another Lambo field goal and the score is 19-0.
12:08 left in third quarter
Bercovici has the Chargers moving, and he’s completed some big passes in this drive. One, on third down, went to James Jones (Berco threw him open), and another came after a ball that, quite frankly, Marqui Christian should have intercepted. But hey, not ever pickable ball will be intercepted, so when you are given new life, take advantage of it.
Chargers now facing third and 2 from the Arizona 22.
15:00 left in third quarter
Garrett Swanson handles the kickoff, which goes for a touchback. Former ASU QB Mike Bercovici now in the game for San Diego.
End of first half
Stanton overthrew a wide open Shipley on one play, and on another rolled to his right and threw a dart to the receiver deep down the field. It was ruled a catch but on review it was determined Shipley was out of bounds, so there was that.
Half comes to a merciful end. Remember it’s preseason and you don’t want to overreact to anything, but the Cardinals’ offense has yet to really get going through six exhibition quarters now.
:24 left in second quarter
Marqui Christian shows some of the skill that has people excited about his future. On third down, he brought down receiver James Jones shortly after he caught the ball. Christian showed good instincts, speed and strength on the play.
Chargers settle for another field goal and the score is 16-0.
1:15 left in second quarter
The good news is Brandon Williams is starting to make some plays. The bad news is, the Chargers are still making more. They’ve moved the ball into Arizona territory, and are now facing a third-and-10 from the Arizona 30.
3:45 left in second quarter
Jaxon Shipley with a bad drop, a delayed Ellington run that went nowhere and a sack on third down led to another punt. It was fair caught at the San Diego 15.
Two steps forward, two steps back for the offense tonight.
5:43 left in second quarter
Cardinals are moving some, as Chris Hubert gets a nice gain on a catch and then Andre Ellington picks up a chunk of yards on the ground. On third-and-1 the Cards go right up the middle and get their one.
On first down, Chargers are flagged for a penalty (couldn’t hear ref announcement, not sure what it was). What we do know is it is now first and 10 from the Chargers 44.
7:49 left in second quarter
Cardinals eventually hold and force another field goal. Still have not allowed the Chargers to score an offensive touchdown.
Still 9:04 left in second quarter
Yep. Call on field is overturned, and the 11-yard gain is enough for a first down. Chargers at the Arizona 18.
9:04 left in second quarter
Hey, Brandon Williams can make good plays, too. He broke up a ball to Travis Benjamin. On third down, the Chargers completed a pass to Benjamin, who was stripped of the ball as he went down. The Cardinals recovered and had a nice return, but one problem — it looked like his knee was down well before the ball came out.
Play is under review, and I think the Chargers will keep the ball.
11:48 left in second quarter
Cardinals get lost in coverage as Keenan Allen picks up some nice yardage into Arizona territory. Marqui Christian was the closest one to him and made the stop — not sure if he was the one responsible or not.
14:05 left in second quarter
Another short Johnson run was followed by a drop by J.J. Nelson that would have gone for a first down, so the Cardinals punted again. Solid kick, which was caught at the San Diego 22.
End of first quarter
Kickoff went out of the end zone, and on first down Chris Johnson picked up three yards on a run. When the second quarter begins, the Cardinals will have the ball at their own 28.
:25 left in first quarter
While put in a tough spot, the defense ultimately holds and forces a field goal, which was good. The score is Chargers 10, Cardinals 0. It’s been an ugly quarter for Arizona’s offense, which has made some nice plays but then made up for them by turning the ball over.
1:54 left in first quarter
Cards were moving the ball OK with help of a nice throw from Stanton to Jaron Brown, but after some runs go nowhere and an offsides penalty (that gave Stanton a free play in which he somehow avoided a strip-sack), Stanton on third down threw high to J.J. Nelson. He was open, but the ball instead went to Chargers safety Jahleel Addae, who took it to the AZ 9.
4:38 left in first quarter
Chargers picked up a first down when Keenan Allen burned Brandon Williams, whose coverage was not bad but his awareness was a bit lacking. Chandler Jones recorded a tackle for a loss, and then the pressure came. On third down it was Calais Campbell who got after Clemens, who threw incomplete.
The Chargers punted, and what was different was that Andre Ellington was deep to return it. That’s a new development. He had a short return to the Arizona 25.
And now, Palmer is out of the game but the rest of the first-team offense remains.
7:29 left in first quarter
Things didn’t get much better for the offense. At least they really couldn’t get any worse?
Cardinals once again struggled to open up a hole for David Johnson on a run, and then on second down Palmer was nearly picked again on an out route. A third-down dump off to Chris Johnson didn’t quite get enough yards for a first down, and Drew Butler came on to punt. It was a good one, and the Chargers will take over at their 17.
9:02 left in first quarter
David Johnson narrowly avoids getting tackled in the end zone even wpressure on first down with jumbo personnel. A short pass to the RB got to third down, where Palmer found Jaron Brown for a nice gain down the field. The WR wasn’t really open, but used great body control to come down with the ball.
Johnson picked up a few yards on first down and then, on the next play, Palmer was picked by Chargers corner Brandon Flowers, who took the ball back for a score. It was a quick WR screen that he just read perfectly. Bad read by Palmer? Maybe, but then again, that’s not exactly the type of play where he is asked to read the field. Maybe it should have been a pre-snap thing.
At any rate, the PAT was good and the score is now 7-0, home team.
11:55 left in first quarter
Cardinals give up a 12-yard run to Melvin Gordon on the first play, but then stuff another run short. On second down, Deone Bucannon nearly ended Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman with a great hit over the middle. It was clean — no flags and none were warranted — but it caused the guy’s helmet to fly off.
Then, on third down, Markus Golden pressured Chargers QB Kellen Clemens into a sack for Jash Mauro.
Bolts punt, and J.J. Nelson allows it to bounce inside the 10 where it was downed at the two.
First-team offense back on the field for Arizona.
14:00 left in first quarter
The near-sack was followed by a quick toss to Michael Floyd, and on third-and-long, Palmer looked to Floyd deep. The ball wasn’t thrown poorly, but there was good coverage by Casey Hayward and it fell incomplete. Cardinals punt.
14:55 left in first quarter
Ellington takes kick at the 1 and gets to the 21. First-team offense in and first play sees Palmer somehow avoid a sack before throwing incomplete. Looked like the Cardinals were hoping to go deep off play-action.
15:00 left in first quarter
Cardinals will receive the opening kickoff. Andre Ellington is back deep.
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