When it looked like the Arizona Cardinals were down and out, a fourth string quarterback leads the team back. Sadly for the Cardinals they lost on a last second field goal, 22-19 to the San Diego Chargers.
The game was eerily similar to last week’s game for the Cardinals. Carson Palmer got a touchdown, Cardinals have a lead in the second quarter and the replacements were yet again unable to hold the score. This game was different in the fact that Palmer played almost all the way through the first quarter, going 3-for-7 with 88 yards and one touchdown. He had another big play when he found JJ Nelson for a 57-yard pass. One of the great things fans and coaches saw from Palmer was he was getting back up. Palmer, who tore his ACL last season, got sacked twice and got right back up, a great confidence booster for not only him but also his teammates.
Aug 22, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Kellen Clemens (10) throws during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
For San Diego this was their second straight game without starting quarterback Philip Rivers, but they seemed to be fine without him. The Chargers were able to comeback after being down 9-0 to tie 9-9 going into the second half. The team’s third string quarterback, Brad Sorensen, was 13 of 22 for 122 yards with one interception. Sorensen played a key role in the Charger’s victory, without Rivers and rookie Melvin Gordon to help the offense.
The Cardinals found themselves without newly singed running back, Chris Johnson, but a rookie stepped up to the challenge and preformed well. David Johnson needed only a couple of plays in order to transition from college to professional. D. Johnson rushed for 66 yards on 13 carries, and often ran over many Chargers players on his way to multi-yard gains. Head Coach Bruce Arians joked. “I thought after he quit dancing and he got out of the dance studio, he ran real well.”
With the Cardinals down 19-9 in the fourth quarter, fourth string quarterback Phillip Sims found his inner Kurt Warner and drove the team down the field, capping the drive off with a Marion Grice touchdown. The later in the 4th, Sims got the team into field goal range but was unable to find the endzone. The Cardinals tie the game up with a Chandler Catanzaro field goal.
Aug 22, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) carries the ball as San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Kavell Conner (53) defends during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The running game help both team score points and both teams were able to get their running games going when needed. Arians told reporters at half time that he thought his running game and offensive line were not up to par. He was right about the offensive line, which allowed six sacks in the game. The running game was very average, but proved it could move the ball when needed. Combined the Cardinals had 97 yards rushing to the Chargers’ 46 yards.
The whole Chargers’ defense could be the players of the game, but Melvin Ingram in particular stood out in this game. Ingram had tow sacks in the game along with six tackles. The defense on both sides was tight most of the game, but it came down to capitalizing on opportunities that allowed San Diego to get the ball late in the 4th quarter and drive down the field to score the last second field goal by Josh Lambo.
The Cardinals now go on the road to face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football.