Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd vs. Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie
Fans will be treated to a very intriguing matchup in the secondary on Monday night with San Diego's top two pass-catchers going against a talented pair of corners. For Allen, this will be the first of a two-game stretch against elite corners, with matchups against Peterson in Week 1 and Richard Sherman the following week.
Cromartie has the most to prove, however, after a down year with the New York Jets in 2013. The former Charger has an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong with a strong game against a dangerous Chargers passing attack.
Corey Liuget vs. Ted Larsen
After four years with Tampa Bay, Larsen came into Arizona and beat out former first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper for the starting gig at left guard. He'll likely see plenty of Liuget on Monday night and have his hands full with San Diego's standout defensive end.
If evidence from Liuget's impressive display against two-time Pro Bowl left guard Mike Iupati in the preseason means anything in this matchup, it should signal a favorable matchup for No. 94.
Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd vs. Brandon Flowers and Shareece Wright
Arizona's leading receivers stand at an impressive 6'3", and when Carson Palmer gets the time he needs in the pocket, both can wreak havoc on defenses. Right off the bat, the Chargers are at a disadvantage with two smaller corners in Flowers (5'9") and Wright (5'11"), which is why defensive pressure up front is vital in slowing down Arizona's offense.
Flowers is coming off a Pro Bowl year in Kansas City, but can he bring that same effort to San Diego?
X-Factor: Ryan Mathews
On paper, Arizona's front seven isn't the same as it was a year ago with all the injuries and departures, so I expect to see the Chargers try to establish a run game early and control the time of possession.
Mathews played a big role in victories last season with his ability to pick up first downs and move the chains, and that should help open up the passing game for Philip Rivers. The last thing San Diego wants to do is get in a shootout with Arizona.