Chargers 24 – Cardinals 7: Initial Impressions


Aug. 24, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: San Diego Chargers linebacker

Andrew Gachkar

(59) intercepts the ball in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some quick impressions from the first game of the year.

Philip Rivers looked better out there. He actually had time to throw the football and he actually got time to establish a rhythm on offense. It was nice to see him moving the offense down the field and it was nice seeing the offense using a no-huddle offense. Philip did better, but there still is room for a lot of improvement. Other than the interception, he missed open receivers down the field. His completion percentage was not pretty.

Charlie Whitehurst and Brad Sorensen both did a good job in their time on the field. Sorensen is impressive every time he steps onto the field. He got production out of Robert Meachem. Is there a real need to keep Charlie Whitehurst? Not that Whitehurst did poorly, just don’t know if we need to keep them both around to back up for Philip. Especially since cutting Charlie would give us some room under the cap. We might need that room if we cut Robert Meachem.

Keenan Allen stepped in and showed that wiggle. He had a nice punt return and he also had a couple of bubble screens that went for positive yards. One of those screens, he had to dodge the linebacker that was barreling down on him. It reminded me of the Mike Willie play last week, but Allen was able to sidestep the tackle.

Seyi Ajirotutu might make the roster, if he isn’t injured. He already saw the field with the first team over Robert Meachem. Since Philip Rivers is comfortable throwing him the football, we might as well keep him on this roster. We need someone on the roster that Philip likes throwing the football to.

Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers didn’t have that connection that we are used to seeing. Gates created space from his defender, but the ball was not there.

The no-huddle offense is going to be huge for our offense. There was a play that was called back for a false start or something that would have had Danny Woodhead wide open on a wheel route for a touchdown.

I still don’t know why we should keep Ronnie Brown on the roster. There seems to be a couple of better options on the roster over Brown. I would rather get Fozzy Whittaker on the field or Danny Woodhead over Brown. I would even want to give Edwin Baker a shot at taking the roster spot over Brown.

Mike Harris looked good. Much quicker and much better footwork that Max Starks. Could he push Starks off of the roster? Could be a possibility.

Can we get Ladarius Green some snaps with the first team? PLEASE!!! All he does is get open and make huge plays in the passing game. I hope there is a plan on using him on offense down the road.

The special teams coverage units were much better, but there still were issues. Richard Goodman still cannot get the ball to the 20 yard line. Nick Novak also missed a chip shot. We also blacked a field goal and a punt.

On defense, Dwight Freeney is going to be a game changer. The quarterbacks do have to know where he is. He still is very quick off of the snap and will make the quarterback get rid of the football before he would like. Larry English is pretty quick off of the snap as well and made a play in the run game too. Seems to be showing that he can contribute on defense. Jarret Johnson is all over the field.

Bront Bird did well with Manti Te’o out. D.J. Smith also did well. I would like to see D.J. Smith with the first team for a bit. Andrew Gachkar plays defense? Tought he was only a special teams warrior. Good to see him contribute on that side of the ball.

There still were a few occasions where the team could not hold the edge on the running game and the back picked up some big yards on the outside.