Chargers vs. Cardinals – Tazz’s Takeaways
By Mike Murray
The Chargers eked out a victory over the Cardinals on Saturday when Josh Lambo sailed a 47 yard field goal attempt through the uprights as time expired. If you were hoping to see the Chargers pass rush come alive on Saturday you were not disappointed as the Chargers tallied 6 sacks. However, if you were expecting to see the Chargers explosive offense on display than you were probably quite disappointed as the Chargers struggled to move the ball in the first half.
But it’s preseason, so you never really know what you are going to get and these are really more auditions for young players than they are real games. So what can we take away from Saturday’s game?
1. Melvin Ingram can be a force on defense. Did you see the spin move on this play? If this guy stays healthy he will be a huge boost for the Chargers defense. And he will bring some much needed ability to get after the quarterback.
2. Josh Lambo will be the starting place kicker this year. While Novak has been a great FG kicker his inability to consistently hit the ball deep on kickoffs has been an issue. Lambo has more leg for kickoffs and proved on Saturday night he can kick FGs going 3 for 3 from 43, 47 and 53. Not to mention the 47 yarder was a game winner as time expired.
3. The Chargers pass defense has looked horrible. I know four guys sat out, but still… Last week Dallas lit them up and this week the Cardinals passed over them easily. We know Flowers and Verrett can play but beyond that I am not sure what we have. Richard Crawford found a way to get his jersey on the big screen Saturday night by getting consistently burned.
4. Donald Butler is playing better than last year. This week he came off the edge for a sack. Last week he shot a gap and blew up a running play in the backfield. He has looked faster and more explosive. The Chargers D will need this kind of explosive play during the season.
Aug 22, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver (43) score a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
5. Brandon Oliver looks a lot like LT. One thing that LT always had was a nose for the endzone. Once in the redzone you could see his game go to a new level. I saw that on Saturday night when Oliver took a hand-off from the 12 yard line. He made that play happen bouncing it to the outside and getting down to the 3. Then on the next play they ran the old LT stretch play where he would just beat everyone to the corner and Brandon did the same here.
6. The preseason lasts way too long. Tazz is ready for some real football. At least next week we should get to see some extended time from the starters… I hope.