The Arizona Cardinals find themselves with an unlikely record of 2-1, thanks to some incredible luck and Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski sucking big time last week.
Janikowski missed what would have been a game-winning field goal (one of three kicks he missed that day), which allowed the Cards to claim their second undeserved win of the season.
But luck runs out. And in San Diego this weekend, when team takes on the Chargers, the Cardinals are the underdogs for a lot of reasons, namely, they're without a full-strength group of receivers.
Similarly unfortunate, the team's quarterback is still Derek Anderson, who has been astoundingly awful since taking the reins from Matt Leinart before the season began.
Anderson's biggest problem is his inability to find wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald consistently. Fitzgerald is optimistic.
"Against Oakland we had some opportunities but when I would be open the protection would break down or it was always something," he told KTAR today. "Hopefully this is the week where everything kind of comes together, we can make some big plays down the field and come out with a decisive win."
Another problem for Anderson is the one receiver he was able to get the ball to on a regular basis is out with injury.
Steve Breaston will be out the next few weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Breaston leads the team in receptions with 14 for 183 yards. Not to mention the 10 points he saved the team in week one against the St. Louis Rams. The Cards went on to win the game -- barely -- thanks primarily to Breaston's Steve-Tasker-like hustle on defense.
The Cards already are short-staffed in terms of receivers. Even if Anderson could find Fitzgerald, the league's top receiver isn't 100 percent following knee and wrist injuries, and Early Doucet is recovering from a groin injury.
The Cards' defense will have it's work cut out for itself, too.
In terms of yardage, the Chargers are the best in the NFL.
The team's produced 1,384 yards in three games, averaging 461.3 yards per game. Quarterback Phillip Rivers is mostly to blame.
"If you give him time he does a great job of finding the guy the guy that's open and getting him the ball," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Rivers. "If you pressure him he understands where it's coming from and he can get it out quickly."
Kickoff is at 1:15 p.m. Sunday. Click here for details.
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