The first time Christian Kirk returned a punt in college http://www.officialknightsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-brad-hunt-jersey , he took it back for a touchdown. He almost did it again on his first touch in the NFL.
"I was thinking to myself 'It's happening again,'" the speedy Arizona rookie said.
He slipped making a move, against the punter (a former college teammate) no less, but the 38-yard return set up a touchdown drive in the first-team offense's only series of the game, and the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 in their preseason opener on Saturday night.
Rookie Josh Rosen completed 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards in his Arizona debut, playing the whole first half after the opening series.
"There's a lot of things he's going to be able to learn and grow from off this first game, watching the tape," Cardinals first-year coach Steve Wilks said. "We expect him to get better, along with myself and everybody else."
Geno Smith, battling Cardale Jones for the backup job behind the Chargers' Philip Rivers, completed 14 of 23 passes for 218 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown throw to Geremy Davis . He was intercepted once.
With Rivers sitting this one out, Jones started and played nearly the entire first half, completing 6 of 12 passes for 50 yards.
"At some point Brandon Manning Jersey , I want to know what we have in Cardale Jones," coach Anthony Lynn said. "He came into this league and he's never really been given a legitimate opportunity, in my opinion. I want to give him that opportunity."
Kirk, Arizona's second-round draft pick out of Texas A&M, took the Chargers' early punt and broke free . He might have taken it all the way had he not slipped trying to make a move against Los Angeles punter Drew Kaser, Kirk's teammate at Texas A&M.
Kirk probably could have run right past Kaser.
"I gave him the benefit of the doubt, thought he could run a little bit," Kirk joked.
"He thought I was going to keep running, too. It's definitely disappointing, obviously, when you think you had an opportunity to get in the end zone, especially on my first touch."
Arizona's David Johnson reeled off a pair of 14-yard runs on the first two plays, his only carries of the night, and rookie Chase Edmonds scored on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Edmonds was hit behind the line of scrimmage but used a second effort to barely stretch the ball over the goal line.
Sam Bradford http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/darren-woodson-jersey , making his debut as Arizona's starting quarterback, directed the scoring drive in his Cardinals debut but mostly handed the ball off. He completed his only pass for 6 yards.
Arizona's second touchdown came in the third quarter when Jeremy Cash returned a fumble 12 yards for a score. Later in the quarter, Cash was carted off the field with a knee injury.
Charles Kanoff, an undrafted rookie out of Princeton, threw a 14-yard TD pass to Bryce Williams for the go-ahead score with 10:06 to play. The game ended when Chargers QB Nic Shimonek was tackled at the Arizona 2-yard line.
Arizona was 0 for 11 on third-down conversions.
Rosen didn't get much help from his offensive line or his receivers, having to dodge the rush to get a pass off. He had two passes dropped.
Daniel Munyer, the backup center now that rookie Mason Cole is a starter, had trouble with shotgun formation snaps, repeatedly rolling the ball to the quarterback. Cole took over when A.Q. Shipley went down with a torn ACL in training camp.
"I think I did some good things and some bad things," Rosen said.
Los Angeles left tackle Russell Okung raised his right first during the national anthem.
Okung stood behind the rest of the players, who had lined up on the sideline. He was the only player on either side to protest visibly.
Okung is a member of the executive committee of the NFL players' union.
Los Angeles turned the ball over four times, three times on fumbles and once on an interception.
The Chargers also were penalized 15 times for 155 yards. Arizona had one turnover and 11 penalties for 110 yards.
"You could tell it was definitely preseason week one," Lynn said. "It was too sloppy."
Chargers: are home against the Seattle Seahawks next Saturday night.
Cardinals: play at New Orleans on Friday night.
A strong power play and penalty kill can carry a team deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Right now, the Los Angeles Kings hope their special teams can do what it takes just to reach the postseason.
Anze Kopitar scored one of his team’s three power-play goals Marshall Newhouse Jersey , Jonathan Quick made 23 saves and the Kings moved back into playoff position with a 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
”Obviously, scoring three power-play goals goes a long way,” Kopitar said. ”I guess this time of year it doesn’t really matter how you do it but you’ve got to figure out ways to win, and we did that tonight.”
Jeff Carter also scored and Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who tied Anaheim for third place in the Pacific Division at 91 points. They also passed Colorado (90 points) and St. Louis (89) in the Western Conference wild-card race.
Phaneuf gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 4:04 into the second period, scoring on a long shot from the blue line five seconds into a power play. All four of Phaneuf’s goals since being acquired from Ottawa in a Feb. 13 trade have come on the man advantage.
Adrian Kempe got the lone assist for winning the faceoff against Troy Brouwer, and Tyler Toffoli set a screen that kept goalie Mike Smith from seeing Phaneuf’s shot.
”The key on power play, if you get people to the net and you get opportunities for lanes to the net and you shoot the puck early, it really forces the penalty killers to turn and face their net,” Kings coach John Stevens said. ”Once Dion shot the first one there, it really had a ripple effect where guys were looking to move the puck quick and get it to the net.”
Kopitar made it 2-0 at 11:55 with his seventh power-play goal of the season. Scoring on a wrist shot from the left circle, Kopitar matched his career high of 34 goals during the 2009-10 season. The Kings captain has five goals in his last three games.
Flames forward Sam Bennett committed three penalties in the opening 30:21, with his infractions for high-sticking and tripping leading to the Kings’ first two power-play goals.
Carter put Los Angeles in front 3-0 by following up his own rebound from close range at 8:24 of the third. He has 10 goals in 16 games since returning from surgery to repair a cut tendon in his ankle.
Los Angeles scored three power-play goals in a game for the third time.
Smith stopped 26 shots for the Flames, who were eliminated from playoff contention. Calgary has been outscored 28-7 during a six-game losing streak.
”It’s tough to create against LA at the best of times Authentic Cameron Jordan Jersey , but I thought we limited them. Again, 5-on-5, there weren’t many chances out there. Just the specialty teams came into play,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said.
Already without forwards Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk because of injury, the depleted Flames had to play without top scorer Johnny Gaudreau, who was not with the team after his father had a cardiac event on Monday.
The lack of scoring punch beyond those three, who have combined to score 78 of Calgary’s 203 goals, is something the Flames will have to address to get back into the playoff chase next season, Gulutzan said.
”You can see that we’re a little bit dependent on some of our top guys to create most of our offense, and that’s an issue that is coming to light a little bit,” Gulutzan said.
NOTES: Kings D Jake Muzzin did not return after sustaining an upper-body injury in the second period. Muzzin fell awkwardly into the boards following a hit by Micheal Ferland. … Dustin Brown had two assists.
Flames: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Kings: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
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