Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Week 12 2022 Predictions & Preview

The Chargers are hoping to keep pace in the Wild Card chase, and they visit Arizona looking for a win. Be sure to read our expert previews before placing any bets.

The Chargers come into Week 12 as a team in desperate need of a win. The Cardinals enter Week 12 as a team looking to play out the string.

Los Angeles Chargers Overview

Unfortunately for the Chargers it did not make a difference on Sunday when Mike Williams and Keenan Allen returned from injury. Their game with the Chiefs in Los Angeles ended the same way it did a year ago, with Travis Kelce scoring a game-winning touchdown on Kansas City’s final possession.

That loss ended any realistic hope that the Chargers had at winning the division. They enter Week 12 trailing the Chiefs by three games, and having already lost the season series, making the lead effectively four games.

But at 5-5 the Wild Card is still in play. However, the re-injury to the ankle of Williams during the Chiefs game complicates that, as does the continued absence of Joey Bosa and their continued inability to stop the run. The Chiefs hate running, and yet even they understand where L.A.’s biggest weakness on defense lies. Kansas City ran the ball for 163 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.

The team has gotten Justin Herbert healthy. His wide receivers are getting healthy. But none of it will matter if the team can’t keep even the reluctant running teams from setting season highs. We’ve seen good quarterbacks undone by bad defenses time and time again, and we’re seeing it happen again with the Chargers.

In terms of making a Wild Card run, the schedule does still contain some landmines. The Dolphins and Titans are on back-to-back weeks in December, and that will complicate L.A.’s efforts to get up to 10 wins.

Arizona Cardinals Overview

It was another start for Colt McCoy, as Kyler Murray sat out another game with his injured hamstring. But nothing else about what we saw from Arizona was the same.

Where McCoy was comfortable in the pocket against the Rams, when facing the 49ers in Mexico, he was on the run. Where the Cardinals offense looked competent when playing L.A., San Francisco made them look lost.

The main story of the game in Mexico City was just how good the 49ers looked. But on the flip side, the Cardinals did look terrible, and that has to be talked about. In particular, a running game that averaged just 2.8 yards per carry, and a passing game that threw two interceptions.

There was also an Arizona defense that allowed 6.8 yards per play, and began making “business decisions” near the end of the game. A number of players in the secondary seemed to avoid contact once the game was out of reach, allowing the 49ers to gain even more yards after the catch.

Not getting yourself needlessly injured is one thing. Not attempting to make tackles, which is the most basic part of your job, is another.

It’s unclear if Kyler Murray will be back this week, but it’s also not clear if it will matter. McCoy has a win over a bad Rams team, and a blowout loss to a very good 49ers team. Murray has a win over a bad Panthers team, and a blowout loss to a very good Chiefs team.

There is a lot of disappointment surrounding the Cardinals, no matter who lines up at quarterback.

Chargers at Cardinals Prediction

Line: Chargers (-4.5), total points 47.5

The Chargers, in spite of their 5-5 record, have a talented roster. From a skill standpoint, Justin Herbert is a top-five quarterback. Keenan Allen is a true WR1, and he is coming off a great game against the Chiefs. And Derwin James and Khalil Mack are two of the best on defense.

For some reason, inexplicable to preseason prognosticators that continue to pick the Chargers to win their division, L.A. in concept is far better than L.A. in reality.

But that won’t be the case this week. The Chargers play up to their potential only a handful of times each season, and this will be one of those times. Partly because they now know that the Wild Card is still in reach, as long as they win. And party because good teams excel against the Cardinals.

Arizona ranks 31st in points allowed, which means the best bet for this game is on the Chargers to cover. This will also be the sixth straight time that the OVER hits for Arizona.

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