The San Diego Chargers recorded the first win of the Mike McCoy era in impressive fashion, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 24-7.
The Cardinals started the game with the ball but the Bolts defense forced them to punt. On the attempt,
After exchanging punts on three consecutive series,
The rookie quarterback connected with
The Arizona Cardinals had just put seven points on the board to cut the Chargers lead to 14-7 when Charlie Whitehurst and the offense responded in resilient fashion. They orchestrated a seven-play, 80-yard drive in 2:09, culminating in a five-yard touchdown run by Fozzy Whittaker. The score was set up by a 57-yard catch and spring up the left sideline by Ladarius Green. By going back up by 14 points, 21-7, the Chargers took back command of the game.
It was Over When…
Nick Novak’s 50-yard kick gave the Chargers a three-score cushion toward the end of the third quarter, taking whatever wind Arizona had out of their sails. The Cardinals were never able to recover.
Play of the Game
It’s the type of play that Dwight Freeney has made countless times over his career, and is why many believe he’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer. On the last play of the first half, Freeney put a spin move on the Cardinals’ left tackle that left him flat on his back. Number 93 then turned on the jets and crushed Carson Palmer with a bone-rattling hit.
Stat of the Game
Kwame Geathers blocked a field goal midway through the second quarter. The last time the Chargers blocked a field goal in the regular season occurred when Adrian Dingle blocked a Jets field goal on November 3, 2002.
“This is what the game’s all about. This is what we do it for. The difference in the locker room, the reaction and the feeling in the locker room is the greatest feeling in the world. This is what we do. This is what we work every week (for). The coaches spend endless hours in the office. The players work all year long and all training camp long to win football games. That’s what we’re all paid to do. Dean Spanos, he wants to win. And that’s what we’re all about here.” – Head Coach Mike McCoy
“A win is a win. They don’t all count, but they all matter. We can learn from this. We can grow from this. And we can get a little confidence. The thing that really excited me, and the entire team, was the energy that we came out with. We had a real bite to us. A real fight about us. And that needs to be recreated in practice and games down the line. And that just has to be a weekly thing. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance” – Center
“I don’t care what it is, it feels good to win. We’re all competitors out here. I don’t care if it’s tic-tac-toe, checkers or whatever we’re doing, we want to win. And that’s how we like to do it.” – Outside Linebacker Dwight Freeney
“No matter what you say about the preseason, that it doesn’t impact the record or that there’s nothing on the line, that’s wrong. We’re out there competing and as a professional player you want to go out there, execute and win. So to go out there, get a complete win and play well in all three phases – that’s what it’s going to take for us to win a championship.” – Safety
Odds and Ends
In his first game of the preseason,
The Chargers were 8-for-15 on third downs, converting at a 53-percent clip.
Antonio Gates recorded a team leading three receptions for 29 yards. Ladarius Green led the way with 57 yards on a single catch.
The rushing attack eclipsed the 100-yard barrier yet again, totaling 127 yards on the ground.
Ryan Mathews led the way with 57 yards on 14 carries (4.1 ypg) and one touchdown.
San Diego won the time of possession battle 31:55 to 28:05.