The Chargers and starting quarterback Philip Rivers returned to the playoffs again in 2013 after a season where Rivers looked as if he had regained his old form claiming the title of comeback player of the year. The Chargers, with one of the best offenses in the NFL will look to get off to a fast start this season. Last season the team began not looking very good and dropping 7 of their first 12 only to see them win their last 4 allowing them to just narrowly get in to the playoffs. The Chargers got past the Bengals in the wild card round with a convincing score of 27-10 only to lose in the second round to eventual AFC champions, the Denver Broncos. Rivers believes that their already explosive offense will be more deadly this season as it will be their second year in coach Mike McCoy's system. The story is not the same on the other side of the ball where the defense was ranked 23rd in the NFL last season. The hopes are that a healthy Dwight Freeney and the signing of CB Brandon Flowers will help improve their ranking in 2014.
The Cardinals enter 2014 having just narrowly missed out on the playoffs in 2013. The Cardinals posted a 10 win season in what is possibly the NFL's most competitive division. The Cardinals were very tough at home in 2013 winning 6 of the 8 contest by only giving up an average of 17.8 points in those games. Long time Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer returns at the helm of the offense for the Cards having just thrown for a career high 4,274 yards to go along with 24 touchdowns in 2013. Palmer will once again be throwing to long time All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, WR Michael Floyd plus the additions of third rounder John Brown and former Miami Dolphin Ted Ginn Jr. Entering the game it is not certain if second year RB Andre Ellington will be available to play. Ellington rushed for just over a thousand yards last year and led the league with an average of 5.53 yards per carry. Out for the game and now season is three time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett who suffered a knee injury in practice.
- TIME: Monday, September 8th 10:20 PM EDT
- LOCATION: University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix Arizona
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