LA Chargers News

3 pitfalls Chargers must avoid in Week 12 vs. Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a one handed catch out of bounds against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 8, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. Arizona won 18-17. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a one handed catch out of bounds against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 8, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. Arizona won 18-17. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 12: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers is tackled by outside linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 12, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 12: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers is tackled by outside linebacker James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 12, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

A cardinal sin for any team in the NFL, the Chargers must not overlook the Cardinals in this matchup, despite it being the last “easy” game on the schedule.

The Chargers face the Pittsburgh Steelers next week and it would be easy to look ahead to that game and see how they match up against another one of the best teams in the conference, but overlooking a desperate team such as the Cardinals could help lead to the upset.

The Chargers seemed to lack the proper focus against Denver last week, particularly on their last possession, and it cost them the game. They can’t take the approach this week that the Cardinals are going to be an opponent that they can beat with a mediocre performance.

In addition, if they get a big lead, they need to keep their foot on the gas pedal. No slowing down, no conservative play calls. Against Denver, they led 19-7 late in the third quarter and many fans likely figured the game was already over.

Never underestimate the ability of a team to get back into a game when you’re playing at this level. Yes, the Cardinals have been bad. They’ve lost eight out of 10 games this season and have been beaten by multiple scores in five of those.

Plus, any team that loses to the Raiders this season, at home no less, is a team that needs a lot of help.

Still, the Chargers must take a lesson from last week’s loss and treat every opponent the same. Come out firing on all cylinders and put forth 100 percent effort on every snap. The Chargers are good, but they’re not good enough to be lackadaisical against a perceived lesser opponent.

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