The Arizona Cardinals come in with the league’s 25th ranked offense. This is a much different from the high powered teams of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin. Warner is now retired and Boldin is now catching touchdowns with Joe Flacco in Baltimore. They are ranked 3rd in the league in penalties, only behind the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets. This is one of the few teams that can compete with the Chargers in the slippery grip contest with 6 fumbles lost and leading the league in that category.
Here are some of the key players to the AZ offense:
WR Larry Fitzgerald – Fitz is one of the premier receivers in the league. He is a 4 time Pro Bowl selection and a 2 time All-Pro. He is an electric receiver with great hands and good height at 6’3″. He has had double digit TD receptions the last 3 years and looks like he may be able to get double digits again this year. His other stats are suffering this season with Derek Anderson as the starting quarterback. He only has 12 reception for 152 yards in 3 games.
Quentin Jammer will be matched up on Fitz and will need to continue his solid play. Fitz can make big plays and the Chargers have been burned by a few already this season. Jammer is supposed to be playing some special teams in this game and hopefully is not too winded to cover one of the best in the game.
WR Steve Breaston – The Cards leading receiver will not be available for this game. He had arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee. He is a good punt returner and is tough to tackle on special teams.
RB Beanie Wells – Beanie returned to action last week and handled the bulk of the carries in his return. He has a great burst at the line and has solid speed. He is not afraid of contact and finishing off the runs. He had 14 carries last game with a 5.4 yard average. It will be up to Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips to stop him from breaking off the runs to the outside. Antwan Applewhite will also see a lot of action and will need to stop the shifty young back. Antonio Garay has played very well this seas at the nose tackle position and will have to create penetration up front again to stop the run.
QB Derek Anderson – Anderson won the starting job this preseason over pretty boy Matt Leinart and has struggled so far this season. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, but is nowhere near that pro bowl form at this point in his career. The Chargers will need to make him look like David Garrard a couple of weeks ago. They will need to force interceptions a constantly apply pressure to him. The Chargers will be able to send the blitz on Anderson and force him to make quick reads and accurate throws.
OVERVIEW: The Chargers will be able to force turnovers on this team. The Cards lead the league in lost fumbles and the Chargers will need to take advantage of the slippery ball. Derek Anderson has not played well this season and we should be able to pick him off.
The Cards will be missing 2 of their top 3 receivers and this will allow the Chargers to keep their focus on Larry Fitzgerald. Brandon Siler has been playing well and Stephen Cooper looks like he is ready to return to the lineup. Shawne Merriman may miss the game and Antwan Applewhite will need to step up into the starting role.
Our defense will need to prevent the big play.