After watching their longtime head coach and starting quarterback both ride off into the sunset of retirement following the 2017 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals are heading in a new direction under first-year head coach Steve Wilks and veteran signal-caller Sam Bradford. While the plan is to eventually replace Bradford with first-round draft pick Josh Rosen, Arizona is definitely in the beginning phases of a new era.

However, for Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers, they enter the 2018 regular season as one of the top picks to challenge New England for superiority in the AFC and rightfully so, seeing as how they have an absolutely loaded roster brimming with talent.

Now, with both teams set to make their 2018 NFL preseason debuts, let’s find out which one is offering the best value in their Week 1 scrimmage season matchup.

NFL Preseason
🏈: NFL Preseason – Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals
🏟️: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
⏰: Sat. Aug 11, 2018 10:00 PM
🎰: Arizona Cardinals: -2½ -110 | -140 | U 37 -110

 

NFL PreseasonThe Chargers went 1-3 in the preseason under then, first-year head coach Anthony Lynn last season before going on to record a solid 9-7 record that left them just outside the playoffs because of tie-breakers.

Nevertheless, things are looking up for the Bolts as they enter 2018 looking to challenge for the AFC Championship at the very least. Still, for this preseason opener, don’t expect to see veteran quarterback Philip Rivers for more than a series or two, if that. Strong-armed former Ohio State star Cardale Jones
is locked in a battle with veteran Geno Smith for the No. 2 job behind Rivers.

In four seasons with the New York Jets and one with the New York Giants, Smith started 31 games, but he went just 12-19 along the way while tossing some often mystifying interceptions no less. Jones has appeared in one NFL game — back in 2016 with Buffalo, but he’s got the size (6-5) and a cannon of an arm.

The Chargers acquired Jones during last year’s training camp and kept him as the No. 3 quarterback, but they may not keep three quarterbacks on the roster this coming season. That will give both ample motivations to play well during the preseason.

NFL Preseason

NFL PreseasonI like Arizona’s hiring of Wilks, the former defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers. I also like the addition of Bradford as a mentor and bridge to the future and believe that Arizona got one of the two the most NFL-ready quarterbacks in this year’s draft in Josh Rosen.

Rosen could start this season at some point and I believe he will, seeing as how Sam Bradford is super-brittle. After Rosen leaves, Arizona will turn to veteran Mike Glennon and then, youngster, Charles Kanoff, so they’re in pretty good shape at backup quarterback.

NFL Preseason

NFL PreseasonI’m going to get right to the point by saying that I like the Arizona Cardinals to get the confidence-boosting win in this one, if only because their team will be going all out just a bit more to impress Steve Wilks than a Chargers team whose roster is virtually set for the upcoming season except for maybe a handful of positions.

Several starting jobs are still up in the air for the Cardinals and I believe this fact will make them play just a bit harder in what is basically a meaningless preseason opener for a Chargers team whose main goal is to not get any of their starters injured.
Pick: Arizona 24 Los Angeles 21

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