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Chargers-Cardinals Final Score: Los Angeles Chargers Lose to the Arizona Cardinals 24-17

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With Philip Rivers on the sideline in street clothes, Cardale Jones took the first snaps from under center for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was unable to get the offense going and Drew Kaser came on to punt. He outkicked his coverage a bit, but the coverage was poor and only the turf monster saved a touchdown.

Sam Bradford and the Cardinals offense took over in Chargers’ territory and immediately started feeding the ball to David Johnson. The Cardinals star running back looked unstoppable. The offensive line created substantial holes, but he hit them decisively and was difficult to take down in the open field. Johnson then gave way to Chase Edmonds, but that did not seem to help the defense much as the Cardinals continued to run the ball down the defense’s collective throats.

A false start on the 3-yard line gave the defense a reprieve and they were able to stiffen tackling Ricky Seals-Jones short of the end zone after a short pass and then stopping John Wetzel for no gain on 3rd down. The Cardinals went for it on 4th down and it initially looked as though they stopped the runner, but somehow he kept his feet moving and sneaked into the end zone. On replay, it still appeared the runner may have been down, but the ruling on the field was upheld. Kyzir White celebrated the stop prematurely. That’s a teachable moment for the rookie.

Cardale Jones’ second drive was certainly an improvement on the first. Melvin Gordon had a nice 12-yard run on 1st & 10 from midfield. Artavis Scott had a big time 10-yard reception on a 3rd & 8. An illegal block in the back penalty largely killed the drive, but they still got points out of it when Caleb Sturgis converted from 45 yards.

Josh Rosen’s first game action was forgettable. The Cardinals went three-and-out with the only positive yardage a six-yard pass from Rosen to Holmes.

Russell Hansbrough had a nice 8-yard run to end the 1st quarter. Austin Ekeler’s first touch of the night went for 20 yards right up the middle. A pair of Jones completions gave the Chargers a fresh set of downs inside the Arizona 30, but a Jones incompletion was followed by a Jones fumble and the Cardinals got the ball back.

Rosen’s second drive was more impressive as he started it by completing a 21-yard pass against Derwin James, but the Cardinals next three plays only managed to move one yard before Andy Lee came on to punt. Uchenna Nwosu flashed some impressive pass rushing ability against Arizona’s 2s.

Cardale Jones took a sack on 1st down and Sean Culking fumbled on 2nd down, but he was rescued by a questionable penalty against the Cardinals. A pair of ineffective Ekeler runs were followed by a scramble for first down by Jones. Ekeler was stopped for a loss to open the new set of downs, Culkin hauled in another pass for 13 yards, and on 3rd & 1 Jones missed Mike Williams to force a Drew Kaser punt from midfield.

The run defense stiffened on 1st and 2nd down then Michael Davis came up big with a pass deflection on 3rd down. Another Andy Lee punt returned the ball to the Chargers.

Geno Smith got his first action of the preseason. His first pass was dropped. Two plays later, the Chargers’ most explosive player, Austin Ekeler turned a short pass into a 39-yard gain. The drive then stalled out following a holding penalty on Zach Golditch. Caleb Sturgis then missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.

Arizona took over from their own 31-yard line following the missed field goal. Two incomplete passes and a delay of game penalty set up a 3rd & 15, but then Corey Liuget gifted the Cardinals a 1st down thanks to a 15-yard face mask penalty. Rosen worked the Chargers underneath for passes of 4, 8, and 3 yards before hitting a beautiful pass along the sideline to Greg Little. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t a completion following an official review. On 3rd & 7, J.J. Nelson was the target, but Jeff Richards knocked the ball away. After a punt, the Chargers elected to run out the clock.

Mike Glennon started the second half at quarterback for the Cardinals. A 15-yard penalty by Chris Landrum got the offense moving, but a solid tackle by Kyle Emanuel after a 2-yard gain slowed them down. Then, Landrum made up for the penalty with an impressive sack of Glennon. On 3rd & 14, Logan ran up the middle for 3 yards setting up a punt.

Geno Smith put some nice placement on a short pass to Derek Watt, but Watt fumbled the ball and the Cardinals returned it for a defensive touchdown.

Artavis Scott flashed some return skills on the following kickoff picking up 39 yards. The Chargers hilariously went right back to Derek Watt and this time he picked up 8 yards. A very nice play by Benwikere tipped a Geno Smith pass to Howard who intercepted it.

Glennon missed Logan on 1st down. Then Logan took a hand off for 1 yard on the next play. Finally, Glennon missed Agudosi on 3rd down to set up another punt.

Smith started the drive with a pretty poor throw that was incomplete. Zach Golditch false started to make it 2nd & 15. Artavis Scott made a nice play to pick up 13 yards on a short pas. On 3rd & 2, Geremy Davis hauled in a 10-yard pass. Sam Tevi then got beaten badly to give up a sack. Braedan Bowman was the target on 2nd & 17, but the pass fell incomplete after he could not secure the pass. On 3rd down, Geno Smith was flushed from the pocket and rushed for 8 yards before being tackled to force a 4th down.

Following a 49-yard punt from Tripucka, the Cardinals took over from their own 12. Foster took a short pass from Glennon for 4 yards, then rushed up the middle for 3. Glennon looked for him again on 3rd down, but it came up incomplete.

Detrez Newsome was in at running back to start the series and was tackled for a 3-yard loss. The bigger loss was for the Cardinals, though, who lost Jeremy Cash to what looked like a bad injury. After getting pressured, Smith found Newsome at the line of scrimmage and he took it for 18 yards. Artavis Scott showed up again catching and running for 13 yards. Newsome took a carry around the left end for 37 yards and it was gorgeous, but Zach Golditch got flagged for clipping. On 3rd & 19, Smith found Geremy Davis deep down the left side for a 47-yard touchdown.

After a 7-yard reception, Kyle Emanuel was flagged for lowering the head to initiate contact. Two plays later, Brandon Facyson intercepted Glennon on a short pass to the left.

Cap Capi picked up another sack on 1st down, but on 2nd down Smith hit Andre Patton for a 21-yard gain. Russell Hansbrough continued to show off his pass blocking. Geremy Davis continued to make his case to make the team hauling in an 18-yard pass. On the next play, Newsome scored untouched.

Charles Kanoff started the 4th quarter for the Cardinals at quarterback. The Cardinals promptly went three-and-out. Andy Lee punted 59 yards and Artavis Scott returned it 55 yards to the 27-yard line.

Artavis Scott took a hand off for 4 yards on 1st down. Smith was unable to connect with Newsome on 2nd down and Patton on 3rd. The special teams then had a letdown as they allowed a 25-yard return. Kyzir White whiffed on a tackle to spring the big return.

Kanoff found Tolliver deep over the middle for a 48-yard pass that set up 1st & 10 from the Chargers’ 14. Two plays later, Kanoff hit Williams for 14 yards and a touchdown.

On the first play of the drive, Geno Smith connected with Geremy Davis for 12 yards and a fresh set of downs. Russell Hansbrough followed that with a nice 7-yard run that was called back due to a holding penalty. Geno Smith scrambled for 33 yards and a 1st down, but a second consecutive holding call against Scott brought it back. Capi hit Geno as he was throwing on the next play forcing an incompletion. Things did not get better on the next play and Smith was sacked by Capi and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Arizona.

Hines stopped Badie after a 4-yard gain on 1st down and White stuffed him after another yard on 2nd & 6. An incomplete pass on 3rd down resulted in a field goal attempt. McCrane converted the 28-yard attempt.

Nic Shimonek replaced Geno Smith at quarterback. Hist first pass fell incomplete, but his next effort went for 7 yards. A defensive holding penalty on the next play gave the Chargers a 1st down. Another Shimonek incompletion set up 2nd & 10, but a 12-yard run by Hansbrough moved the sticks. Two more incompletions brought us to 3rd & 10 and the Chargers had to burn a timeout. A short pass to Spruce picked up half the needed yards, but on 4th down Shimonek badly overthrew his intended receiver for a turnover on downs. Sam Tevi’s night went from bad to worse as he was injured on the play.

Three ineffective running plays from the Cardinals’ Badie later brought the game to the two-minute warning. Lee punted the ball away and the Chargers took over with just under two minutes left on the clock.

Shimonek hit Newsome for a 5-yard gain to start the drive. Defensive Pass Interference on the next play was good for 29 yards. Shimonek then overthrew Johnson on the next play. Following that, Newsome took a short pass for 2 yards before running out of bounds. Roughing the Passer kept the drive alive and pushed the offense across midfield. Shimonek looked to Newsome yet again across the middle of the field this time. The reception was for 9 yards, but a lowering the head penalty tacked on an additional 15 yards. Patton hauled in a quick pass for 6 yards. A false start gave most of the yards back and necessitated a 10-second runoff. Patton was the target again on 2nd down, but only picked up 3 yards. He was tackled in bounds, but the Chargers went no-huddle instead of burning their last timeout. Patton caught a third short pass and brought up 4th & 4 with only 6 seconds left on the clock. Shimonek tried to scramble for the score, but he was tackled short of the goal line and the game ended.