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Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers visit the Arizona Cardinals in the desert in the second of two Monday night games to open the 2014 NFL season.  the Chargers bring one of the best offenses in the NFL to the game, in large part due to the success of Rivers,  who was named Comeback Player of the Year after completing for a career-best 69.5% of his passes. The veteran also finished fourth in the league with a 105.5 passer rating, throwing for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns.

“I just think we know what to expect now,” said Rivers, entering his ninth year as a starter. “We all know the terminologies. There’s a level of comfort and I think all that does is allow you to play fast and play confident.”

Tight end Antonio Gates is back for his 12th season, and Keenan Allen is coming off a superb rookie year, posting 71 catches, 1,046 yards and eight TDs.

Carson Palmer leads the Cardinals who are coming off their second 10 win season in the last 26 years, but still failing to make the playoffs.

“We’re head and shoulders above where we were last year,” said Carson Palmer, who threw for a career-high 4,274 yards and 24 TDs in 2013. “The next step is just to keep improving, it’s not to stay where we are and be satisfied that we’ve come a long ways.”

Palmer has All-Pro wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd as weapons.

Andre Ellington appears to be in for a much bigger workload after compiling 1,023 total yards from scrimmage as a rookie last season and averaging an NFL-best 5.53 per carry.

Defensively, Arizona will have to get by without Darnell Dockett after the three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice.

Arizona hasn’t faced San Diego since a 41-10 road loss in 2010, its third consecutive defeat in the series. The Cardinals are 3-9 all-time against the Chargers.

About James Rhodes

James is an American born sports writer that covers all sports and has a passion for football at every level He began his journalism career then and has been published on numerous sports websites and publications

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