It’s a big night in the desert as Arizona debuts what they hope is their signature caller for a decade to come as rookie Josh Rosen gets his NFL inauguration. Anthony Lynn begins his second season at the helm of the Chargers and his veteran-laden coaching staff should give L.A a huge edge in the August 11th, NFL free pick. This is especially true since the Cardinals have a new system to implement after hiring Steve Wilks away from the Panthers. Even so, oddsmakers have set the line at ARI-3. Is it time to take the points?
What to Expect From the Chargers
Don’t expect to see much of L.A quarterback Philip Rivers in tonight’s game as the 36-year old doesn’t have a lot to benefit from in playing in the first preseason week. The same goes for star RB Melvin Gordon. The Chargers do have some experience at the backup QB spot after signing free agent Geno Smith from the Giants. They also traded Buffalo for Cardale Jones before last offseason but he didn’t attempt a single pass in 2017.
The Chargers defense should be sharp in the August 11th NFL free pick. Last year’s defensive ROY Joey Bosa won’t play Saturday night because of a sore foot, but the Chargers did improve their secondary with the drafting of playmaking safety Derwin James out of Florida State. They also picked up LB Uchenna Nwoso of USC in the 2nd round and continued to bolster the defense taking DE Justin Jones out of NC State in the 3rd. Behind the veteran leadership of coordinator Gus Bradley the Chargers defense could make life a living hell for Rosen tonight.
It’s All About Rosen Saturday Night for Arizona
Sam Bradford joined Arizona in the offseason but the most anticipated addition at signal caller was the drafting of Josh Rosen of UCLA with the #10 pick. Bradford shouldn’t play much in the August 11th NFL free pick considering his injury history so expect to see a lot of Rosen tonight. One of the other big reasons that the Cardinals are favorites is that they also added a 3rd QB this offseason when acquiring Mike Glennon who started some games for the Bears last year. Larry Fitzgerald also returns for his 15th NFL season and the Cardinals gave him some relief by selecting talented WR Christian Kirk in the 2nd round of the draft.
There’s going to be a lot of new faces on the Cardinals sideline tonight including 1st year head coach Steve Wilks. The defensive minded Wilks turns the offense over to Mike McCoy. He may have developed an extra special game plan considering he was head coach of the Chargers from 2013-2016 before getting fired before the team announced their move to LA. Some old stalwarts of Arizona seasons past have also found new homes. Gone are Tyrann Mathieu, Karlos Dansby, and John Brown so it will be interesting to see what these new look Cards do tonight.
August 11th NFL Free Pick Betting
Oddsmakers have set the line at Arizona -3 despite the fact that Josh Rosen is making his NFL debut. That might not be a problem however as Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Josh Allen, the three QB’s selected ahead of Rosen have combined for 4TD and 0 INT this week. The Chargers do have the veteran factor on their side and should be better in the 2nd year under Anthony Lynn, Gus Bradley (DC), and Ken Whisenhunt (OC). The Chargers were just 1-3 last preseason and understand the importance of starting a winning culture early now.
Free Pick: San Diego Chargers +3