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Chargers-Cardinals Running Diary: First Quarter

John Gennaro is rewatching the San Diego Chargers' victory over the Arizona Cardinals from Saturday and taking notes along the way. These are his first quarter notes.

Christian Petersen

Since I was a little busy "hosting" the BFTB meetup on Saturday night (Pic 1Pic 2), I didn't really get a chance to watch the San Diego Chargers take on the Arizona Cardinals as intimately as I usually do. This morning, I am rewatching the game and taking notes along the way. I thought it'd be fun to break these notes into quarters while I watch, so that I can't take things back later. It's like Twitter, but slower!


First Quarter

  • Dan Fouts sounds very condescending when he says that Mike McCoy knows "a little bit" about being a quarterback. Can't blame him.
  • Here comes Carson Palmer. Fouts assures us that his best two games have come against the Chargers, then backs that up by saying they're the two games in which Palmer has thrown for the most yards. Dan would rank QB performance that way.
  • I find it amusing that the Cardinals ran "stack" formation on their first play against Ken Whisenhunt's team. Maybe that's a thing Arians does too, I don't know, but it worked to get Larry Fitzgerald open.
  • Rashard Mendenhall's big run came because of a hold against Marcus Gilchrist. Not saying Gilchrist makes that tackle, but he certainly keeps the play from getting outside. [Editor's Note: The same thing happened to Jarret Johnson on another play.]
  • Dwight Freeney is a beast.
  • Larry English is coming in on 3rd and long situations to sub out Jarret Johnson, but the pass rush might actually get worse when he does.
  • Not many running backs pick up the blitz better than Ronnie Brown.
  • Clear pass interference that wasn't called against Seyi Ajirotutu on third down. Eh, it's preseason; the refs aren't really looking to slow the game down. Take your lumps, and don't complain.
  • I think the team will end up regretting that Nick Novak contract.
  • I love the no-huddle offense that lets Philip Rivers look over the defense and make audibles. That's fantastic.
  • The Chargers either just ran a really nifty play-action pass play, or that was a read-option pass play that Rivers ran to perfection.
  • Rivers really likes this no-huddle. You can see that it makes him more comfortable with the play that's being run, which leads to the ball getting out faster.
  • I think that draw play that Ryan Mathews just got 18 yards on was another read-option play....or a perfectly-called draw play.
  • I know Rivers' whining to the refs after every incomplete pass will never stop, but sometimes I wish it would. It's a preseason game, man. Have some fun.
  • That's twice now that Rivers has made the right read, got the ball out quick enough and simply threw an inaccurate pass to Antonio Gates. Maybe it's the glove.
  • Bringing in Mike Harris when King Dunlap was injured was kind of crazy. Trying to run behind Mike Harris two plays later was completely nuts...and it didn't work.
  • Offense moving the ball down the field with good balance and with Rivers getting the ball out quick. Just like Whiz drew it up.
  • I'm convinced that the coaching staff isn't that concerned about Ryan Mathews' fumbling the ball away, because he keeps diving with the ball in one hand and they keep calling that play.
  • John Pagano lining up Donald Butler at outside linebacker and having him rush outside while English goes inside is a really, really cool look.
  • If Bront Bird gets some starts in this defense, expect a few interceptions for him. Guy plays like a cornerback.