You've heard the news by now, and groaned.
Another WR out for the Arizona Cardinals.
This time, it's a bit bigger, as Steve Breaston will sit out two weeks (although Coach Whisenhunt has come out and said they are not ruling him out for next week's game against New Orleans) after having a minor surgery on his knee.
This is kind of a big deal.
That means that there are zero experienced players behind Larry Fitzgerald, who is struggling this year (due to things out of his control mostly).
And now they have to go play an angry 1-2 team that must feel like they could be 3-0...and on the road no less.
But all is not lost. The Cardinals can do the same thing that Kansas City and Seattle were not expected to do, and that is beat the Chargers.
Here's five things they have to do:
That doesn't mean they have to go out and pull a Demaryius Thomas (9 catches for 87 yards and a TD in his debut).
After all, the guys I'm talking about-- Andre Roberts, Max Komar, and Stephen Williams-- weren't drafted, except for Roberts of course.
But the two guys that will see the most work as receivers are Komar and Williams, Williams especially, as he gets his first pro start in his young career.
This is not an easy task, as early on San Diego has one of the better pass defenses in the league.
But I don't think anyone in Arizona expects them to do great.
I think what they need to do is just not make mistakes.
That means no fumbles (Komar in week one for instance) and no dropped passes (Williams in week two I believe).
I also think if they both provide Anderson with a few catches in this game, the Cardinals stand a chance.
To say that the Cardinals desperately need to run the ball might be an understatement.
With Derek Anderson clearly struggling, it's plain as day that the best thing the Cardinals can do right now on offense to help him is give him some support in the run game.
We can all see this is what they need to do. However, whether it will happen is another matter, as the Cardinals have called more pass plays than rushing plays this year (although that is somewhat due to the blowout game at Atlanta and lack of consistency at St. Louis).
But last week, with the insertion of Beanie Wells, there's suddenly hope again that the Cardinals can become a run-first team.
Therefore, if there are to have any shot this week at San Diego, they have to control the clock with Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.
Remember Leon Washington last week?
He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns to help the 'Hawks upset the Bolts.
The only other kick returners to get touchdowns last week?
C.J. Spiller. And LaRod Stephens-Howling.
If LaRod can take one back again this week, that would give the Cardinals another big boost.
And if the punt return team can limit or eliminate the mistakes they had last week, they could play a huge factor as well.
Speaking of which, Andre Roberts has more than just being a receiver to worry about. Word is he is upset by his mistakes on punt returns last week, and has been working hard this week to overcome those mistakes.
If he can make a big return, that would also help out the Cards offense.
I like Phillip Rivers. I really do.
So this is no disrespect to him, but he is a heady quarterback that is easily frustrated.
Sometimes he plays better when frustrated. This season he certainly has, as he's endured two frustrating losses for his Chargers.
But he has had trouble finishing drives, despite the fact that Antonio Gates has had a heck of a year.
As well, there's a reason Seattle and Kansas City beat him. Even though though he had great stats against them, they kept bringing pressure and never letting him get completely comfortable.
You've heard the expression "Cut the head off the snake, you kill it"? This is Rivers's team now.
If the Cardinals are to win this game, they have to get to Phillip.
This hasn't been as big an issue under Ken Whisenhunt as with previous coaches for the Cards.
Sure, there's been certain games, but almost never three in a row like this.
The Cardinals are 29th in the NFL in penalties, averaging nine per game, and there are second to last in penalty yards per game, behind their opponent last week Oakland, with 95 yards averaged in penalties per game.
This cannot continue.
Many of the Cardinals penalties have really been needless (although all penalties are really), as most of their yards have come from personal foul penalties and pass interference penalties.
Obviously these hurt the flow of the game for the Cardinals, and it is surprising the Cardinals have been able to win two games despite these issues.
If they can make smart decisions against the Chargers, they stand a chance at a big upset.
If not, it could get ugly.