Trap Game?

The Chargers should have their way against the Cardinals, especially playing at home Sunday. But nothing is easy with this year's 1-2 Chargers squad, and just maybe, they are heading into a trap.

The Cardinals are no longer a pass-happy team having the luxury of leaning on Kurt Warner. Instead they look to pound the ball - they average nearly 117 rushing yards per game -- and that works against the Chargers on two fronts.

If the Cardinals can get their running game gobbling up the clock, it keeps Philip Rivers' hands off the football and directing the NFL's top offense.

And with the Chargers' rash of injuries, most are coming at the linebacker spot - not good, if facing a running team.

Outside linebacker Larry English was lost for four-to-six weeks earlier in the week with a foot injury. Inside linebacker Brandon Siler -- among the top two Chargers run-stoppers -- has seen his foot get worse as the week wore on. He was limited on Wednesday and didn't practice at all Thursday.

Inside linebacker Stephen Cooper is back practicing, but he will be playing in his first game Sunday after skipping the past two with a knee injury. How his knee reacts to game situations is worth watching.

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman is also ailing with this injury du jour. This week, it's a calf.

The Chargers are still more talented than the Cards - that's clear to see. But what's not so easy to decipher is if the Chargers' injuries -- in light of how the Cardinals will likely attack the defense -- could make this game a lot closer than many expect.



What are Chargers fans saying about Sunday's game? See in the message boards.





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