The Chargers are now 1-1 in the preseason and we're only two weeks away from the start of the season. We're also now 6 days away from week 3 of the preseason, which is usually the most important week and the one in which the starters play the most.
To be honest, I watched chunks of the Chargers/Cardinals game but didn't make it to the end (it came on NFL Network at 1:30am) and was distracted by friends during most of it. The game is waiting on my DVR to be reviewed in depth, and I'll create the Bolts & Dolts post from that and put it up during the week. However, by looking at the stats, here's what stands out to me.
QB Efficiency - Rivers completes 5 of 7 passes, Volek completes 6 of 7 (and throws a TD) and Whitehurst completes 5 of 9 (no interceptions). I feel like this is a combination of Arizona's secondary having some glaring holes in it and a sign that our QBs and WRs are getting on the same page. It's great to see that as bad as the offensive line was at protecting the QB last night, nobody panicked.
Running Improvement - Against the Seahawks, the Chargers carried the ball 21 times for 55 yards (2.6 YPC) and 1 Bennett touchdown. Against the Cardinals, the Bolts carried it 33 times and managed 125 yards (3.8 YPC) and another Bennett touchdown. Gartrell looked improved (2.9 YPC, up from 1.6 YPC against Seattle), but has to get better at short-yardage carries. I thought LT looked much better, much bouncier, in his runs and as a receiver. I'm finally excited to see what he can do in 2009.
Buster Davis - Two good games in a row? Not so much. Zero catches, 1 rushing attempt for 11 yards.
Legedu Naanee - Continues to shine. He caught the 49 yard TD pass from
Volek Rivers, which was the biggest offensive play of the game for the Chargers.
No Blitzes - Again, lots of 4-3 looks and only 1 sack (Tucker). On the contrary, the Cardinals brought a lot of heat and worried a lot of Chargers fans by putting Philip Rivers on his back more than a couple of times (5 sacks total). I know these games don't count, but I'd love to see the heat brought consistently for at least one game so the players go into Week 1 against Oakland knowing that their pass rush can't be stopped.
Kevin Burnett - Might be better than Stephen Cooper. I really hope he can stay healthy, because he is an excellent linebacker. I know it's only been two preseason games, but this FA signing is looking to be another brilliant move by AJ Smith. He tied for the most tackles on the team for the second straight week.
More views and opinions after I get a chance to watch the game intently. What did you guys think of the performance by the Chargers last night?