Los Angeles Chargers Lose to the Arizona Cardinals 24-17

Chargers-Cardinals Final Score:With Philip Rivers on the sideline in street
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, Cardale Jones took the first snaps from
under center for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was unable to get the offense
going and Drew Kaser came on to punt. He outkicked his coverage a bit, but the
coverage was poor and only the turf monster saved a touchdown.Sam Bradford and
the Cardinals offense took over in Chargers’ territory and immediately started
feeding the ball to David Johnson. The Cardinals star running back looked
unstoppable. The offensive line created substantial holes, but he hit them
decisively and was difficult to take down in the open field.Johnson then gave
way to Chase Edmonds, but that did not seem to help the defense much as the
Cardinals continued to run the ball down the defense’s collective throats.A
false start on the 3-yard line gave the defense a reprieve and they were able to
stiffen tackling Ricky Seals-Jones short of the end zone after a short pass and
then stopping John Wetzel for no gain on 3rd down. The Cardinals went for it on
4th down and it initially looked as though they stopped the runner, but somehow
he kept his feet moving and sneaked into the end zone. On replay, it still
appeared the runner may have been down, but the ruling on the field was upheld.
Kyzir White celebrated the stop prematurely. That’s a teachable moment for the
rookie.Cardale Jones’ second drive was certainly an improvement on the first.
Melvin Gordon had a nice 12-yard run on 1st & 10 from midfield. Artavis
Scott had a big time 10-yard reception on a 3rd & 8. An illegal block in the
back penalty largely killed the drive, but they still got points out of it when
Caleb Sturgis converted from 45 yards.Josh Rosen’s first game action was
forgettable. The Cardinals went three-and-out with the only positive yardage a
six-yard pass from Rosen to Holmes.Russell Hansbrough had a nice 8-yard run to
end the 1st quarter. Austin Ekeler’s first touch of the night went for 20 yards
right up the middle. A pair of Jones completions gave the Chargers a fresh set
of downs inside the Arizona 30, but a Jones incompletion was followed by a Jones
fumble and the Cardinals got the ball back.Rosen’s second drive was more
impressive as he started it by completing a 21-yard pass against Derwin James,
but the Cardinals next three plays only managed to move one yard before Andy Lee
came on to punt. Uchenna Nwosu flashed some impressive pass rushing ability
against Arizona’s 2s.Cardale Jones took a sack on 1st down and Sean Culking
fumbled on 2nd down, but he was rescued by a questionable penalty against the
Cardinals. A pair of ineffective Ekeler runs were followed by a scramble for
first down by Jones. Ekeler was stopped for a loss to open the new set of downs,
Culkin hauled in another pass for 13 yards, and on 3rd & 1 Jones missed Mike
Williams to force a Drew Kaser punt from midfield.The run defense stiffened on
1st and 2nd down then Michael Davis came up big with a pass deflection on 3rd
down. Another Andy Lee punt returned the ball to the Chargers.Geno Smith got his
first action of the preseason. His first pass was dropped. Two plays later, the
Chargers’ most explosive player, Austin Ekeler turned a short pass into a
39-yard gain. The drive then stalled out following a holding penalty on Zach
Golditch. Caleb Sturgis then missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.Arizona took
over from their own 31-yard line following the missed field goal. Two incomplete
passes and a delay of game penalty set up a 3rd & 15, but then Corey Liuget
gifted the Cardinals a 1st down thanks to a 15-yard face mask penalty. Rosen
worked the Chargers underneath for passes of 4, 8, and 3 yards before hitting a
beautiful pass along the sideline to Greg Little. It was beautiful, but it
wasn’t a completion following an official review. On 3rd & 7, J.J. Nelson
was the target, but Jeff Richards knocked the ball away. After a punt, the
Chargers elected to run out the clock.Mike Glennon started the second half at
quarterback for the Cardinals. A 15-yard penalty by Chris Landrum got the
offense moving, but a solid tackle by Kyle Emanuel after a 2-yard gain slowed
them down. Then, Landrum made up for the penalty with an impressive sack of
Glennon. On 3rd & 14, Logan ran up the middle for 3 yards setting up a
punt.Geno Smith put some nice placement on a short pass to Derek Watt, but Watt
fumbled the ball and the Cardinals returned it for a defensive touchdown.Artavis
Scott flashed some return skills on the following kickoff picking up 39 yards.
The Chargers hilariously went right back to Derek Watt and this time he picked
up 8 yards. A very nice play by Benwikere tipped a Geno Smith pass to Howard who
intercepted it.Glennon missed Logan on 1st down. Then Logan took a hand off for
1 yard on the next play. Finally, Glennon missed Agudosi on 3rd down to set up
another punt.Smith started the drive with a pretty poor throw that was
incomplete. Zach Golditch false started to make it 2nd & 15. Artavis Scott
made a nice play to pick up 13 yards on a short pas. On 3rd & 2 Womens
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, Geremy Davis hauled in a 10-yard pass. Sam
Tevi then got beaten badly to give up a sack. Braedan Bowman was the target on
2nd & 17, but the pass fell incomplete after he could not secure the pass.
On 3rd down, Geno Smith was flushed from the pocket and rushed for 8 yards
before being tackled to force a 4th down.Following a 49-yard punt from Tripucka,
the Cardinals took over from their own 12. Foster took a short pass from Glennon
for 4 yards, then rushed up the middle for 3. Glennon looked for him again on
3rd down, but it came up incomplete.Detrez Newsome was in at running back to
start the series and was tackled for a 3-yard loss. The bigger loss was for the
Cardinals, though, who lost Jeremy Cash to what looked like a bad injury. After
getting pressured, Smith found Newsome at the line of scrimmage and he took it
for 18 yards. Artavis Scott showed up again catching and running for 13 yards.
Newsome took a carry around the left end for 37 yards and it was gorgeous, but
Zach Golditch got flagged for clipping. On 3rd & 19, Smith found Geremy
Davis deep down the left side for a 47-yard touchdown.After a 7-yard reception,
Kyle Emanuel was flagged for lowering the head to initiate contact.Two plays
later, Brandon Facyson intercepted Glennon on a short pass to the left.Cap Capi
picked up another sack on 1st down, but on 2nd down Smith hit Andre Patton for a
21-yard gain. Russell Hansbrough continued to show off his pass blocking. Geremy
Davis continued to make his case to make the team hauling in an 18-yard pass. On
the next play, Newsome scored untouched.Charles Kanoff started the 4th quarter
for the Cardinals at quarterback. The Cardinals promptly went three-and-out.
Andy Lee punted 59 yards and Artavis Scott returned it 55 yards to the 27-yard
line.Artavis Scott took a hand off for 4 yards on 1st down. Smith was unable to
connect with Newsome on 2nd down and Patton on 3rd. The special teams then had a
letdown as they allowed a 25-yard return. Kyzir White whiffed on a tackle to
spring the big return.Kanoff found Tolliver deep over the middle for a 48-yard
pass that set up 1st & 10 from the Chargers’ 14. Two plays later, Kanoff hit
Williams for 14 yards and a touchdown.On the first play of the drive, Geno Smith
connected with Geremy Davis for 12 yards and a fresh set of downs. Russell
Hansbrough followed that with a nice 7-yard run that was called back due to a
holding penalty. Geno Smith scrambled for 33 yards and a 1st down, but a second
consecutive holding call against Scott brought it back. Capi hit Geno as he was
throwing on the next play forcing an incompletion. Things did not get better on
the next play and Smith was sacked by Capi and fumbled. The ball was recovered
by Arizona.Hines stopped Badie after a 4-yard gain on 1st down and White stuffed
him after another yard on 2nd & 6. An incomplete pass on 3rd down resulted
in a field goal attempt. McCrane converted the 28-yard attempt.Nic Shimonek
replaced Geno Smith at quarterback. Hist first pass fell incomplete, but his
next effort went for 7 yards. A defensive holding penalty on the next play gave
the Chargers a 1st down. Another Shimonek incompletion set up 2nd & 10, but
a 12-yard run by Hansbrough moved the sticks. Two more incompletions brought us
to 3rd & 10 and the Chargers had to burn a timeout. A short pass to Spruce
picked up half the needed yards, but on 4th down Shimonek badly overthrew his
intended receiver for a turnover on downs. Sam Tevi’s night went from bad to
worse as he was injured on the play.Three ineffective running plays from the
Cardinals’ Badie later brought the game to the two-minute warning. Lee punted
the ball away and the Chargers took over with just under two minutes left on the
clock.Shimonek hit Newsome for a 5-yard gain to start the drive. Defensive Pass
Interference on the next play was good for 29 yards. Shimonek then overthrew
Johnson on the next play. Following that, Newsome took a short pass for 2 yards
before running out of bounds. Roughing the Passer kept the drive alive and
pushed the offense across midfield. Shimonek looked to Newsome yet again across
the middle of the field this time. The reception was for 9 yards, but a lowering
the head penalty tacked on an additional 15 yards. Patton hauled in a quick pass
for 6 yards. A false start gave most of the yards back and necessitated a
10-second runoff. Patton was the target again on 2nd down, but only picked up 3
yards. He was tackled in bounds, but the Chargers went no-huddle instead of
burning their last timeout. Patton caught a third short pass and brought up 4th
& 4 with only 6 seconds left on the clock. Shimonek tried to scramble for
the score, but he was tackled short of the goal line and the game ended.Fantasy
Football Rankings and the Chargers: ESPN’s Mike Clay I’ve become a big fan of
ESPN’s Mike Clay over the last couple years. He has consistently been a fan of
the Chargers, in fantasy and in real life Joe
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, and continually has picked them to not only make
the playoffs in ‘17 and ‘18, but to also challenge for a title.Although the hype
he gave the team did not come to fruition last season, the attention he gave to
the Chargers’ players in fantasy football was right on the money. In ESPN
leagues (PPR scoring), here’s how the the Bolts’ players fared:Melvin Gordon -
RB284 Carries1,105 Rushing Yards8 Rushing Touchdowns58 Catches on 83 Targets476
Receiving Yards4 Receiving TouchdownsFinished the year as RB5Keenan Allen -
WR102 Catches on 159 targets1,393 Receiving Yards6 Receiving Touchdowns2
Carries9 Rushing YardsFinished the year as WR3Philip Rivers - QBCompleted
360/575 Passes4,515 Passing Yards28 Passing Touchdowns10 InterceptionsFinished
the year as QB8Tyrell Williams - WR43 Catches728 Receiving Yards4 Receiving
TouchdownsFinished the year as WR45Travis Benjamin - WR34 Catches567 Receiving
Yards4 Receiving Touchdowns13 Carries96 Rushing YardsFinished the year as
WR50Austin Ekeler - RB47 Carries260 Rushing Yards2 Rushing Touchdowns27
Catches279 Receiving Yards3 Receiving TouchdownsFinished the year as RB45For the
upcoming 2018 fantasy football season, here’s how Clay has the Chargers’ skill
players ranked:Philip Rivers - QB12Rivers continues to be extremely affordable
as a late round quarterback that should yield top-10 scoring numbers at the
position. Even with the recent loss of Hunter Henry, Rivers still possesses a
plethora of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Look for Mike Williams to
pick up some slack while all three running backs should see an uptick in
targets.Melvin Gordon - RB10A little lower than I would have expected for Gordon
but understandable when you see guys like Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, and
Dalvin Cook ahead of him as these guys should be leaned on a lot more while
Gordon may end of ceeding carries to Austin Ekeler and rookie Justin Jackson.
Fans of Gordon should still be excited as this may push Gordon into a late round
2 or early round 3 consideration.Keenan Allen - WR6I believe this to be just the
right spot for Allen after the season he just had. Like Julio Jones of the
Falcons, Allen has been slightly allergic to the end zone but eats up enough
targets that it doesn’t matter most of the time. He will once again be leaned on
heavily in the passing attack, especially with Hunter Henry out for the year.
Anything outside of top-10 production for Allen would be insane.Mike Williams -
WR69 (NICE)After a disappointing year for the former seventh-overall pick, it
seems like Clay believes Williams is in store for an increased target share
after sustaining some healthiness through the off-season. Williams has all the
tools in the world to be successful within this offense, but his ability to
learn the offense will be the the one thing to hold him back, if he lets
it.Tyrell Williams - WR84Quite the drop for Williams after being just two years
removed from a 1,000-yard season. Williams unfortunately will lose targets to
Mike Williams but he should still get a healthy amount of looks after the loss
of Hunter Henry. He is another tall wideout with blazing speed that should find
his success on crossers and deeper routes. Depending on how the other Williams
progresses, Tyrell might just be the steal of this offense, once again.Travis
Benjamin - Not RankedIf Mike Williams comes along like he’s expected to,
Benjamin might be the lone guy out of this offense. His looks should increase
with Henry’s injury, but his role as a consistent contributor will be in danger,
nonetheless. However, Benjamin and the coaches are aware of his role as a deep
threat within the offense and you just know he will be good for a long touchdown
just about once every three or four weeks.Austin Ekeler - RB59Ekeler was such a
nice surprise for Chargers fans last season as he carved out a prominent role
for himself in this offense after making the team as a UDFA. Ekeler showed
excellent vision and acceleration on his limited carries, making the most of his
time on the field. Gordon is still the workhorse of this offense, but I wouldn’t
be surprised to see Ekeler continue to get 6-8 carries a game on top of a couple
targets from Rivers, as well.Chargers Defense/Special Teams - D/ST8It’s awesome
to see the defense and special teams getting some love after a chunk of years in
irrelevancy. The defensive backfield is stacked with talent. The duo of Joey
Bosa and Melvin Ingram has been rated a top-5 passing rushing unit in the NFL.
There’s just so much to love here. The Chargers’ defense should be a priority
selection in the last several rounds
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