In a battle of field goals, the Arizona Cardinals came up a little short last night.
Nick Novak booted four field goals to lift the San Diego Chargers over the Red Birds, 12-9 in the preseason finale at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. It was a ho-hum affair in which Arizona had a grand total of four first downs and 98 total yards.
The Cardinals finished the preseason at 1-3.
Rookie Chandler Catanzaro, who beat out veteran Jay Feely for the kicker position, kicked three field goals (from 42, 38 and 35 yards) for Arizona but it was not enough.
Ironically, these two squads will face each other again in their next game – the regualr season opener in Glendale on Monday Night Football on Sept. 8.
In a battle of backups, rookie quarterback Logan Thomas played the entire game and looked shaky at best. The Virginia Tech product completed just nine of 21 passes for 73 yards. His QB rating was 32.4 for the night.
Rookie tight end Troy Niklas had two receptions for 32 yards for the Red Birds.
Zach Bauman paced a meager Arizona rushing attack with 20 yards on seven carries.
Marion Grace and Branden Oilver combined for 150 yards on the ground to lead the Bolts (2-2).
On a positive note, Jonathan Cooper, Arizona's top draft pick in 2013, returned from a toe injury and played the entire first half. Inside linebacker Kevin Minter, who will be counted on heavily this season, started the game after returning from a pectoral injury.
"It went all right," Minter told azcentral.com. "I just have to knock off the rust. Hopefully, next week, after a good week of practice. I can show up a lot better. I gotta practice. I gotta practice. That's all it is."
Nose tackle Alameda Ta'Amu played as well but safety Tyrann Mathieu did not. That means that he may not play in the season opener because head coach Bruce Arians stated this week that Mathieu would need to play in order to be ready for the Sept. 8 opener against the Chargers.
Now it's on to the regular season.
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