Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals

The San Diego Chargers rode Keenan Allen's breakout rookie season to one of the best passing attacks in the NFL last year. Their 9-7 record was good enough to qualify for a wild card spot, but they were eliminated in the divisional round by the eventual AFC champion Denver Broncos. The Cardinals won 10 games but missed the playoffs, finishing behind Seattle and San Francisco in the division and New Orleans in the wild card.

Kickoff: 10:20 p.m. ET

Live stream: WatchESPN

TV coverage: ESPN

Radio: For a list of the Cardinals affiliates, click here. For a list of the Chargers affiliates, click here.

Game Facts

Cardinals facts

Cornerback Patrick Peterson signed a five-year, $42 million contract extension during the offseason. He had 42 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Free safety Tyrann Mathieu finished fourth on the team in tackles despite missing the final three games with a torn ACL.

The Cardinals gave up the fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL (84.4). The front-seven took a hit when Darnell Dockett tore his ACL in the preseason. He'll miss the entire season.

Offensive guard and 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Cooper joins Dockett on the list of injured Cardinals. He missed all of last season with a broken leg and has been dealing with turf toe leading up to the 2014 regular season opener.

Arizona returns two 950-plus yard receivers from last season in Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald. The two combined for 1,995 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

First-round pick Deone Bucannon is listed as a second-string strong safety, behind Tony Jefferson.

Arizona lost its season-opener in 2013, 27-24 to the Rams. Prior to that, however, the Cardinals had won three straight. Over the last decade, they are 5-5.

Palmer has faced the Chargers six times in his career, winning twice and losing four times, most recently in 2012, while on the Raiders.

The Cardinals last won a playoff game in 2009. 

Chargers facts

Philip Rivers and the Chargers' passing attack ranked fourth in the NFL last season, averaging 270.4 yards per game.

He threw for more than 400 yards three times in 2014, the most in his career. The last time he did so more than once was 2010, when he eclipsed 400 yards twice en route to a career-high 4,710 yards.

The addition of Keenan Allen played a large part in the Chargers' success through the air. As a rookie, he had 1,046 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, leading the team in both categories.

San Diego scored the 12th-most points in the NFL (24.8).

Its defense held opponents to the eighth-fewest points in the league, 21.8 per game, despite giving up the 10th-most yards, 366.5 per game.

After giving up the fourth-most passing yards per game last season, the Chargers took cornerback Jason Verrett out of TCU in the first round of the draft. 

The Chargers last faced the Cardinals in 2010, winning 41-10 in San Diego.

San Diego placed receiver Vincent Brown on the injured reserve Monday after he strained his calf in practice on July 25.

The Chargers began last season with a 31-28 loss to Houston and are 6-4 in season-openers since 2004.

San Diego went 5-5 on the road last season, including a playoff upset of the Cincinnati Bengals.

- Evan Webeck

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.