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8-28-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Chargers Aftermath

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  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Even though the Cardinals lost last night, there are some good things such as the Kevin Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald 80 yard bomb and Patrick Peterson getting his first Interception and Touchdown along with the Cardinals starters outscoring the Chargers starters. Bad news in Greg Toler suffering what is apparently an ACL Sprain (more info on that later today)

With todays links, we look at some of the stuff from what happened during the game last night and with the rest of the NFL.

The game will also be re-aired on FOX Sports AZ later today if you want to watch it again.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Cardinals get big plays from first unit despite 34-31 loss to Chargers in home preseason opener
After an afternoon practice last week, Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb marveled at the number of offensive playmakers at his disposal. Quarterbacks tend to say such things in training camp, but Kolb backed up his words Saturday night in the team's preseason debut at University of Phoenix Stadium. Despite the Cardinals' efficient run game and a big-play passing attack, the San Diego Chargers beat the Cardinals 34-31 on a late touchdown pass with both second units in the game. Kolb started slowly but heated up. He completed an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald late in the first quarter, just the type of play the team missed on time and again last season.

Cards Measure Up
Starters look best of the preseason during 34-31 loss to Chargers

Peterson Makes First Pick
A little while after Patrick Peterson had scored his first NFL touchdown – on a 34-yard interception return of a Philip Rivers pass – the Cardinals’ rookie cornerback found himself near the Chargers quarterback during a time out. "Where the freak did you come from?" Rivers asked Peterson, and Peterson said yes, Rivers used the word "freak." Maybe that’s appropriate, because that’s the kind of talent the Cards’ No. 1 draft pick is said to have, and it flashed during Saturday night’s 34-31 loss to San Diego at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Inside the Box: Cardinals lose to Chargers in dying seconds -
After every Arizona Cardinals game we'll examine the box score and provide you with instant analysis. So it's time to go Inside the Box for August 27, 2011: Chargers 34, Cardinals 31

Word From the Birds Blog - Chargers aftermath
You know what I thought of when I watched Kevin Kolb launch one down the field and connect perfectly with Larry Fitzgerald for that 80-yard touchdown bomb Saturday night? Not the Super Bowl catch (comon — no matter how pretty, the stakes were so dramatically different. There weren’t stakes in this game). Not even the one-time Kurt Warner-to-Fitz combo — Kurt liked to spread it around so much. No, what I thought of was this entire last month. If we have learned anything about Kolb since he arrived it’s that he understands that a) Fitz likes the ball; b) Fitz can get the ball most of the time if it is anywhere close; and c) good things tend to happen when Fitz has the ball. We will see what happens when teams start gameplanning more to defend Fitz, but it’s hard to think that, assuming both Kolb and Fitz are healthy, Fitz is going to have anything but a monster year statistically. blogs - Kent Somers - Post-game spread
First, some injury news. -- CB Greg Toler appears to have suffered a sprain left ACL. He likely will have an MRI on Sunday. When such injuries happen, it's usually a few days before details are made public. There is no media availability on Sunday. If I hear something, I'll report it. "Pray for a light sprain of the ACL," said Toler, who left the locker room on crutches, his left knee in a brace. "I was just running toward the ball and my foot just dragged across the ground a little bit and it just got stuck somehow. When it initially happen, it was just like a tweak, like my knee just went out of place. Then I got up and started moving and it got back to normal." Toler's departure meant more playing time for cornerback Patrick Peterson, who returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown. "I was screaming the whole way to the end zone," Peterson said. Peterson said he was pretty sure quarterback Philip Rivers never saw him. During a timeout later, Rivers asked Peterson "Where the freak did you come from?" Peterson said Rivers really said "freak."

San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
The chemistry that Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald keep talking about was on full display early for the Cardinals. It wasn't enough. They connected on an 80-yard play for the quarterback's first touchdown pass with his new team. But San Diego's Bryan Walters caught a 14-yard pass from Billy Volek with 3 seconds remaining to give the Chargers a 34-31 preseason victory over Arizona on Saturday night.

Three things revisited: Cardinals-Chargers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back on three things discussed here before the Arizona Cardinals' 34-31 preseason defeat against the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night:

Cardinals' Greg Toler sprains knee against Chargers
The Cardinals might have to test their depth at cornerback after starter Greg Toler suffered a left knee sprain Saturday night against the Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Toler left the game in the first quarter and did not return. His departure resulted in more playing time for Patrick Peterson, the fifth-overall pick in the draft. Peterson returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter.

Kevin Kolb gives Cardinals reason to believe in him -
Eight passes into the game Kevin Kolb looked every bit of Derek Anderson. The new Cardinals QB had completed just two of eight passes, missing open receivers and failing to put enough air under his deep throws to Larry Fitzgerald. Give No. 11 time to get under the ball and chances are he'll go and get it. "The two that I missed him on...I'm thinking, ‘Come on Kevin, give him a chance at it, he's Larry Fitzgerald,'" Kolb said after the game. Then the QB called a play -- out of a no-huddle offense -- and his night did a 180.

Offense, Beanie Wells click for Cardinals in loss -
Now that was what the Arizona Cardinals envisioned their offense doing when they traded for Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals scored 31 points Saturday -- 24 of which came courtesy of the offense -- and while they ultimately lost to the San Diego Chargers, the good certainly outweighed the bad in this one.

Patrick Peterson notches first score as a Cardinal -
Patrick Peterson finally got one. With just more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter the rookie read Chargers QB Philip Rivers' eyes, left his man and made a break on the ball. A little running and a couple of jukes later, touchdown. "It felt great because I was screaming the whole way to the end zone," Peterson said.

Cardinals lose starter Greg Toler to knee injury | ProFootballTalk
We’ve heard a lot of optimistic talk out of Cardinals camp that the team is deeper at cornerback then ever. That depth is set to be tested.

A vote for Cardinals' Daryl Washington - NFC West Blog - ESPN
At least three physically impressive NFC West linebackers qualify as "emerging" this season. The Arizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington is one of them. Teammate Jay Feely called Washington a "breakout" player no one is talking about. Feely called Washington fast, powerful and well positioned for a big year. Blogs " Blog Archive Countdown to Kickoff: Cards’ rare TD feat "
The 2011 NFL season kicks off in just 12 days with a matchup of the past two Super Bowl champions, when the Saints visit the Packers in a Thursday night return to football. Speaking of returns, the Cardinals led the league with 12 return touchdowns in 2010. Hinting at Arizona’s struggles on offense, that number eclipsed the team’s TD numbers in either rushing (9) or passing (10). How unusual is that? Arizona is the only team in NFL history to have more return touchdowns than rushing or passing scores.

NFL Videos: Chargers vs. Cardinals highlights
Philip Rivers two touchdown passes helped lead the Chargers to a 34-31 win over the Cardinals.

Game Reaction - Chargers vs Cardinals
Video Gallery - Coach Whisenhunt, QB Kevin Kolb, CB Patrick Peterson, and OG Daryn Colledge talk about preseason game three against the Chargers.

Kolb-Fitzgerald 80 Yard TD
Video Gallery - Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb throws it up to his playmaker WR Larry Fitzgerald who takes it in the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown.

Peterson to the House
Video Gallery - Rookie CB Patrick Peterson high steps into the end zone for his first pick six of his NFL career.

Arizona Sports News:

Young's homer lifts Diamondbacks to fifth straight win
This season for the Diamondbacks has been characterized by more than a few contributors, and that's exactly how manager Kirk Gibson wants it. "We're not here for credit. We're here for the result," Gibson said. "That helps. If you attain the result, everybody will get the credit." Saturday's matchup with the San Diego Padres was just another example of that philosophy with the Diamondbacks turning in a 3-1 win in front of 35,603 at Chase Field thanks to a steady offense and a solid pitching performance.

Prisco tips Arizona State to win BCS championship -
A senior writer for CBS Sports said that Arizona State is as a contender for the BCS national title this season.

NFL News:

What we learned: Mega-edition from Saturday night | ProFootballTalk
With nine games on Saturday night, this is going to be the biggest “What we learned” recap of the preseason. So let’s get to it.

Tim Hightower ascends to Washington Redskins' starting RB role - ESPN
While the Washington Redskins quarterback derby has kept everyone on tenterhooks, the running back competition has become a one-man show.

Three things revisited: 49ers-Texans - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back on three things discussed here before the San Francisco 49ers' 30-7 preseason defeat against the Houston Texans on Saturday night:

Three things revisited: Seahawks-Broncos - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back on three things discussed here before the Seattle Seahawks' 23-20 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night:

Arian Foster has a message for fantasy leaguers | ProFootballTalk
Texans running back Arian Foster aggravated his hamstring injury on Saturday night, which is a concern for the Texans with the season opener only two weeks away. Oh, and all the folks drafting Foster in fantasy leagues first overall are feeling anxious too. Foster has a message for them: "For those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok & plan to be back by opening day," Foster wrote on Twitter. "For those worried abt your fantasy team, you people are sick."

(I like seeing him post that)

JaMarcus Russell pays his tax bill | ProFootballTalk
There’s actually some moderately good news today about JaMarcus Russell, the former Raiders quarterback and No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft who was a huge bust both on the field and off.

Byron Leftwich breaks his arm | ProFootballTalk
There were points — and injuries — a plenty in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

Tarvaris Jackson plays into fourth quarter | ProFootballTalk
Seahawks fans want Charlie Whitehurst to pass Tarvaris Jackson on the quarterback depth chart in Seattle, but it’s not going to happen in the preseason.

Saints lockout workouts included some out-of-pocket expenses for Brees | ProFootballTalk
In 12 days, the last two Super Bowl winners will kick off the season at Lambeau Field. And the contest between the Saints and Packers will be more than just another well-hyped Week One encounter.

Ten more well-known veterans looking for work | ProFootballTalk
Florio wrote about the lack of interest surrounding Tiki Barber earlier, which got me thinking: What other big name veterans remain available?

NFL Game Recaps:

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Rian Lindell hit a 40-yard field goal with 3:04 left in overtime to lift the Buffalo Bills to a 35-32 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game nearly 4 hours long Saturday night.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown continued his electrifying preseason, catching four passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers beat Atlanta 34-16 on Saturday night.

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Rudy Carpenter threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Overbay with 3:11 remaining, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 17-13 preseason victory over the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night.

New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Matthew Stafford threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half, leading the Detroit Lions to a 34-10 preseason win over the New England Patriots on Saturday night.

Chicago Bears vs. Tennessee Titans - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Seventh-round draft pick Tommie Campbell returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown, and the Tennessee Titans rallied to beat the Chicago Bears 14-13 on Saturday night.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Gerald Sensabaugh had an interception and a hand in a special teams touchdown for Dallas, Tony Romo connected often with Dez Bryant, and the Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-17 in a preseason game Saturday night.

Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Matt Schaub stepped back to pass on the first play of the game and threw right to 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks a few yards away. After that rare blunder, Houston's reliable quarterback was spot-on. Schaub recovered after that early interception, leading the Texans on scoring drives in each of their next three series in a 30-7 exhibition rout of the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos - Recap - August 27, 2011 - ESPN
Kyle Orton led Denver back from a shaky start with two touchdown drives and the Broncos' defense throttled Tarvaris Jackson in a 23-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.