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Chargers-Cardinals Running Diary, Second Quarter

The San Diego Chargers are up 14-0 after two quarters, during this rewatching of their win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

Christian Petersen

Second Quarter

  • I honestly don't know if the San Diego Chargers are playing well or if the Arizona Cardinals are playing poorly. It's one or the other.
  • Lots of stack formations now. I guess that is a thing that Bruce Arians does.
  • I have this belief that all scoring drives come with some non-offensive yards. Either the offense got great starting position because of the defense and/or the special teams, or the other team gives up some yards with penalties. On that first TD drive, Arizona got called for an unnecessary roughness penalty (15 free yards).
  • The fact that I couldn't tell, in the first quarter, whether or not those were read-option plays or not tells me that Philip Rivers has probably gotten a lot better at pretending to hand the ball off. He used to be the worst in the league.
  • It looks like Rivers is making the calls at the line, identifying blitzers. That used to be Nick Hardwick's job, which is only funny because Rivers identified the wrong guy and almost got killed because of it.
  • Jeromey Clary is, uhhh, still learning how to play guard and pass protect from that spot.
  • I totally missed Larry English trying to break Patrick Peterson's neck the first time I watched this game. That was impressive. I guess that's how to send a cornerback back to the defense.
  • Johnny Patrick is on the field a lot, and not looking particularly good (for what it's worth, I still love him on special teams). Makes that Richard Marshall signing even better.
  • Derek Cox on Larry not going terribly. That could be a great sign.
  • Keenan Allen's punt return was great, but it should've gone for a touchdown. Again, I don't know if this is a credit to San Diego or a slight against Arizona.
  • Allen is breathing hard and gets his number called on a quick-pass because Rivers reads the blitz. Two good things there: Philip reading the blitz (and changing the play) and Allen being an integral part of the offense as a playmaker.
  • Rivers again called the wrong blitzer and ended up throwing off his back foot because of it (pass interference bailed him out). One more new thing that Philip will have to get better at going forward. (FWIW, Mathews missed the blitzer because he was looking where Rivers pointed. His improvement at pass blocking could also fix this small issue.)
  • The Rivers interception goes on D.J. Fluker. He got juked out of his shoes by Tyrann Mathieu.
  • Dwight Freeney gets handled and Carson Palmer gets all day to throw. That's a first down. The next play, Freeney's replaced by Larry English and the entire defense gets much, much worse.
  • Everything I see from Shareece Wright so far is very impressive.
  • Replace Marcus Gilchrist with (a healthy) Brandon Taylor, Larry English with (a healthy) Melvin Ingram and Bront Bird with (a healthy) Manti Te'o and this defense would be insanely good. If the team gets lucky with injuries, there's reason to believe the Chargers could make a run in the second half of the season.
  • Houseler just showed everyone why Gilchrist and Juhleel Addae shouldn't be starters in the NFL.
  • Nice blocked kick by Kwame Geathers. Big, tall man that can push the line? Sounds perfect for the job.
  • There's a pass interference call against Arizona down the field. That's probably 20 free yards right there. I bet the Chargers score.
  • The Chargers offense looks good because they can rely on the running game. The passing game looks good, but everything is a result of the team controlling the tempo (and the down and distance) with the running game. I like this kind of offense, especially when your defense is thin and you need to keep those guys rested.
  • Seyi Ajirotutu was injured during the game? Ooohhhhh crap. I hope he's okay.
  • Danny Woodhead looks rusty. Glad he finally got some game reps. Hope they call his number a few times if he gets on the field on Thursday against the 49ers.
  • Third and long, pass rush in his face, Philip Rivers throws Vincent Brown open. Ladies and gentlemen, we have signs of life from El Capitan.
  • Billy Ray Smith, who played in an era where concussions were called "headaches", audibly said "Ouch" when Ronnie Brown got hit by Jasper Brinkley.
  • There's a pass interference call against the Cardinals in the end zone. More free yards.
  • Before the next play, a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct goes against the Cardinals. A free half-yard closer to the goal line.
  • I hate play-action plays at the goal-line. Only gives the defense more time to get to the QB. Shotgun or run.
  • Remember how I said the Chargers keep calling that play where Mathews dives with the ball in one hand? It just resulted in a fumble, that was then fumbled by the Cardinals, and John Phillips gets to celebrate a touchdown for some reason.
  • I'm calling that a failed possession because of the red zone fumble.
  • The Dwight Freeney sack that ends the first half was a thing of beauty. Please don't ever get injured, Dwight.