The Arizona Cardinals take on the San Diego Chargers Thursday Night at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Let's take a look at the two teams in terms of 2013 stats, the history between the teams and how the two teams are connected.
The Cardinals finished 10-6 last season, but missed the postseason. The Chargers were 8-8 and earned a wild card berth in the AFC.
Offensively, San Diego was better than Arizona. They had the 10th best scoring offense with 396 points, while the Cardinals were 16th with 379 points. San Diego was fifth in yards. Arizona was 12th. San Diego ran the ball nearly 123 yards per games and threw for over 270 yards per game last season. Arizona rushed over 96 yards per games and threw for over 250 per game.
Defensively, Arizona was the better team, but not by too much in terms of points alllowed. They were seventh in points allowed. San Diego was 11th, giving up only 24 more points than the Cardinals. Arizona was first against the run, allowing less than 85 yards per game on the ground. San Diego was 12th against the run, allowing nearly 108 yards per game.
Where the two teams differ a lot is in yardage. Arizona was sixth overall defensively in yards allowed. San Diego was 23rd. The separation is because of passing numbers. Arizona allowed 233 yards per game, good for 14th in the league. San Diego allowed over almost 259 yards per game, which was fourth-worst in the league. Of course, San Diego had to face Peyton Manning twice in the regular season.
The two teams have met a lot in the preseason. It will be the 21st preseason matchup. The Chargers lead in the series 11-9. The last five meetings have been in Arizona. It is the first time since 2003 that the Cardinals travel to San Diego for the preseason. Interestingly enough, the Cardinals have not beaten the Chargers in the preseason since 2003.
The Chargers lead in the regular season series as well -- their record is 9-3. Arizona hasn't beaten the Chargers in the regular season since 2001.
There are lots of connections as the Chargers have many former Cardinals. There are five to be exact.
Linebacker Reggie Walker played in Arizona from 2009-2012. Richard Marshall was a key player on defense in 2011. Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger played for the Cardinals in 2012. Kicker Nick Novak was a Cardinal for five games in 2005. Cornerback Crezdon Butler appeared in two games over two seasons in 2011 and 2012 for Arizona. He was a waiver claim at the end of the preseason in 2011.
Arizona has Antonio Cromartie. He was a Charger from 2006-09.