NFL Week 4 Previews: San Diego Set As Touchdown Favorite Over Arizona
September 28th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers meet in Week Four of the 2010 NFL Season in a inter-conference showdown out west.  For the Chargers, they come off a week in which they lost to a NFC West opponent already, and will look to avoid two in a row.  For the Cardinals, they were able to get by their AFC opponent and look to build off momentum early in the season.

The Cardinals faced the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday and won narrowly 24-23.  That, was in large part due to the fast start, when LaRod Stephens-Howling took the opening kickoff 102 yards to the end zone for a quick 7-0 lead.  From there, it was a tightly contested game throughout, with quarterback Derek Anderson completing 17 of 34 passes for 122 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

On the other side, the Chargers are coming off a 27-20 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.  San Diego will likely pay attention to the Cardinal specials teams return game and Stephens, as San Diego surrendered two Leon Washington returns for touchdowns last Sunday, one 101 yards and the other 99 yards.  The 99-yard touchdown came with under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Seahawks up for good.  Now, the Chargers will have to regroup after losing two of their first three games.  Perhaps they can take solace in knowing that last season they opened up losing three of their first five games, before reeling off 11 wins in a row.

Looking ahead at this one, Rivers will continue to lead this pass-first offense, potentially again without highly touted rookie Ryan Mathews, who went out two weeks ago with an ankle injury and was inactive against Seattle.  Rivers completed 29 of 53 passes for 455 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.  Against the Cardinals, Rivers will have to protect the ball better, as the past two weeks he has thrown a pair of interceptions in each.  San Diego won one and lost one in that stretch.

For the Cardinals on defense, getting pressure on Rivers and forcing throws will be an important facet in this one.  Rivers has several weapons he can throw to, including Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd.  The duo combined for 13 receptions two touchdowns and nearly 200 yards receiving against the Seahawks.  The Cardinals limited the Raiders to 231 yards passing and intercepted one pass.

For Arizona on offense, Anderson will need to be more consistent if they hope to move the ball on San Diego.  They were successful as running the ball, with the tandem of Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.  Taking the pressure off the shoulders of Anderson and creating more balance on offense will be key.  Arizona is no longer the pass-happy offensive scheme it was under Kurt Warner, at least not yet.  With Larry Fitzgerald lining up on the outside however, the Chargers will have to pay close attention to him.

Defensively for the Chargers, limiting Fitzgerald’s touches and stopping Beanie Wells will be key.  They are the two biggest play makers for the Cardinal offense.  Cardinal wide out Steve Breaston has come on strong however, and San Diego can’t over look him while paying attention to Fitzgerald.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks have set the Chargers as an eight-point favorite in this Week 4 NFL Match up.

ATS Betting Trends-

Arizona is 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games on grass.  The Cardinals are also 7-0 ATS in their last seven games in October.  The Chargers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games after an ATS loss.

Over/Under Betting Trends-

The Over is 6-2 in the Chargers’ last eight games as a favorite.  The Over is 37-14 in Arizona’s last 51 games as an underdog.

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