San Diego Chargers (9-7) at Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
|Date & Time||Monday September 8, 2014, 10:20 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Arizona Cardinals -3 -- Over/Under: 44.5
The San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals play Monday night football at U of Phoenix Stadium. These teams met last week in the preseason and the Chargers won, 12-9.
The San Diego Chargers are pretty much the same team there were offensively last season with Philip Rivers at quarterback and Ryan Mathews at running back. The Chargers also have their No. 1 receiver in Keenan Allen and a healthy tight end for once in Antonio Gates. Last season, the Chargers were fourth in passing yards and 13th in rushing yards, making them one of the more explosive offensive teams in the AFC. The San Diego Chargers were 29th against the pass defensive and 12th against the run. San Diego can only hope that a healthy Dwight Freeney can improve those rankings this season. The Chargers are once again a threat in the loaded AFC West.
The Arizona Cardinals lost three of their last four preseason games but head into the season with some promise. The one side of the ball the Cardinals have to like is the offense with a second year with Carson Palmer at quarterback, and playmakers around him such as Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd. The Cardinals had the 13th best passing offense and 23rd rushing offense, numbers that are bound to improve if Palmer can take better care of the football and manage this offense better. Defensively, the Arizona Cardinals have one of the most underrated units in the league but an injury to Darnell Dockett is a crushing blow to a team that ranked first in rushing yards allowed. However, a secondary made up of Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and Tyrann Mathieu is nothing to sneeze at.
The Chargers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Monday games. The Cardinals are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 1 and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Monday games. The road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
The Cardinals have a solid home field advantage and will have a point to prove in this game after being counted out a little in a loaded NFC West. I like the home team to cover the small chalk in this one.