The San Diego Chargers walked out of Qualcomm victorious on Friday after beating the Arizona Cardinals 19-3. The defense shined on the night with two interceptions, a TD and one sack.
Offense: Dom Williams – Williams has shown flashes throughout camp and shined against the Cardinals. The 6-2, 200-pound wide receiver finished with a game-high four receptions for 55-yards. His longest catch came on third down in Arizona territory and was good for 18 yards. The reception ultimately proved beneficial for the Bolts as it sustained a drive that ended in three points as Head Coach Mike McCoy praised his play after the game.
Defense: Brandon Flowers – Flowers returned to form on Friday night making an athletic interception and taking it to the house. The cornerback spoke throughout training camp about how he mentally and physically feels rejuvenated, and it showed. His 25-yard pick six was the only touchdown on the night and kick started a fierceness for the first-team defense that only gave up three first downs.
Unsung Hero: Josh Lambo – Besides Flowers' pick six, the other 13 points came courtesy of Josh Lambo. Besides his extra point, Lambo booted four field goals on the night good for 20, 33, 48 and 50-yards.
Stat of the Game:
After giving up 288 rushing yards last week, the Chargers held the Cardinals to just 63-yards on the ground.
Play of the Game:
Brandon Flowers showed his savvy and athleticism, turning a nickel blitz into a pick-six. The veteran cornerback read the play, and tipped Carson Palmer's attempted quick strike to David Johnson to himself. Securing the ball in midair, he sprinted 25-yards untouched for the pick-six to give the Chargers an early 7-0 lead.
The Bolts were up by seven late in the first quarter when Arizona faced a 3rd-and-4 late in the first quarter. Drew Stanton fired downfield, overthrowing J.J. Nelson into the waiting arms of Jahleel Addae. The safety further made the Cardinals pay by reversing field, weaving his way to the Arizona nine-yard line. It led to a Josh Lambo field goal, giving San Diego a double-digit lead as they never looked back on their way to victory.
It Was Over When:
While Arizona finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, it was too little, too late. On the ensuing drive, Mike Bercovici took his team to midfield and ran the clock to cement the win for the home team.
"Everyone wants to get that (turnover), everyone wants to make that play. Even when we got to the sideline, we were cheering each other on, but I'm hot I missed mine! That's just the chemistry we have going on; everyone wants to make plays." – CB Jason Verrett
"We're one. Everything we do, we trust in the guy next to us. I trust that Denzel (Perryman) is going to do his thing, Brandon (Mebane) is going to do his, (Brandon) Flowers, Jahleel (Addae) and Jason (Verrett), it's all over the place. If we play as one and we play with that intensity and confidence, we're going to be special." – ILB Manti Te'o
"I showed the coaches what I can do. The offensive line did an incredible job out there. Having practiced against Arizona all week kind of gave us a scouting report. I felt a little bit more comfortable going into my second game. Every time I step out on the field, I get more and more comfortable…I'm excited to be a part of this team and win some games." – QB Mike Bercovici
"I think we had a pretty solid day. We started off early and we talked all week about playing fast and I think we did that today. We started off this week with a solid practice in the stadium…and our main goal was to start off fast and play together as a defense." – CB Casey Hayward
Odds and Ends
Donavon Clark (knee) and Jeff Cumberland (Achilles) left the game and did not return.
Tonight's captains were Matt Slauson, Keenan Allen, Brandon Mebane, Mike Windt and Manti Te'o.
The Bolts outgained the Cardinals 285 to 209 total yards.
Kellen Clemens and Mike Bercovici each played halves for the Bolts. Clemens finished 11-of-20 for 134 yards and Bercovici ended his night 9-of-13 for 108.
Both Dom Williams and Tyrell Williams had game-high catches (four). Dom Williams led the receiving corps with 55 yards.
Nick Dzubnar led the defense with seven total tackles. Jerry Attaochu had the second-most on the night (four) and one sack good for a loss of eight yards.
Five defensive backs including Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward, Jahleel Addae and Adrian McDonald each had passes defensed.
Chargers who did not play include Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Kenneth Farrow, Greg Ducre, Tyler Marcordes, Asante Cleveland, Christopher Landrum, Jatavis Brown, Javontee Herndon Zamir Carlis.