San Diego returns home this week after a 27-10 road loss to the Tennessee Titans. It doesn’t get much easier on Friday as they face off against a talented Arizona Cardinals team.
The Chargers last encountered Bruce Arians and his Cardinals in the 2014 season opener, where they were defeated 18-17. Mike McCoy’s Chargers led deep into the fourth quarter thanks to a Ryan Mathews’ 20-yard touchdown run to put them ahead 17-6.
However, Arizona rallied back in the last quarter, scoring 12 unanswered points. The first score took place early in the fourth on a five-yard TD reception by Stepfan Taylor to put the Cardinals within five. Then with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter, Carson Palmer found rookie John Brown for a 13-yard touchdown, capping the 11-play, 91-yard scoring drive. It was Brown’s first career touchdown, which sealed the victory for the Cardinals. This whole game was a defensive battle between a couple of second-year head coaches.
Aug 13, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks to throw the ball during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers and Cardinals do not have an extensive past with each other. They have only encountered each other 13 times since 1971, and three times in the last 10 years. San Diego leads the series 9-4 and have outscored Arizona 322 to 267 in their contests.
During these 13 games, the Chargers defeated the Cardinals by one score or less in n ine of their matchups. This goes to show you how competitive these games have been. The 2014 match marked Philip Rivers’ first career loss against the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to the 2014 defeat, San Diego had won three in a row against the Cardinals.