The San Diego Chargers went into Glendale, Arizona and came away with a comeback victory against the Arizona Cardinals. As has become expected for the 3rd preseason game, the Chargers played most of their starters through the first 3 quarters. Under that scenario I think many would expect the Chargers to come out playing at their usual high level, but instead they saw a team that encountered early struggles.
On defense most of the struggles got easily blamed on the absences of NT Antonio Garay and OLB Shaun Phillips. Both should be back by the start of the regular season, so hopefully that will solve some of those problems. On offense, there was clearly some rust as well as some issues on the offensive line. LT Marcus McNeill missed the game — as expected — and as was learned last year, there is a dropoff between him and Brandyn Dombrowski. On the bright side, Antonio Gates made his first preseason appearance and did well; he even caught a TD pass.
When the starters came out they handed the 2nd–stringers and other youngsters an 11 point deficit. The Chargers began to close in when DE Corey Liuget got penetration and forced a muffed hand–off. OLB Darryl Gamble picked up the fumble in the end zone, which (with the extra point) closed the deficit to 4. Later, with Billy Volek at the helm, the Chargers executed a quality 2 minute drill that culminated with a game–winning touchdown pass to WR Bryan Walters.
It has been a while since the Chargers provided some 4th–quarter fireworks like that in the preseason, and those that stayed tune–in were treated to an entertaining finish. In the grand scheme of things the comeback win means little, but it was certainly enjoyable to watch at the time.