The Arizona Cardinals certainly made an impression in their first quarter in front of the home crowd at University of Phoenix stadium. Kevin Kolb looked a bit shaky in his first two series but still managed to engineer a three-point scoring drive. Kolb followed that up with an 80-yard touch down strike to a streaking Larry Fitzgerald. Rookie Patrick Peterson immediately followed up one big play with a 36-yard interception returned for a touchdown.
After the first period the Cardinals led 17-3 and the local fans loved it. Here's how the quarter unfolded.
The Cardinals started off with a couple of nice offensive plays in their first home possession of the 2011 NFL Season only to see the drive stall with three very poorly executed plays. Kevin Kolb got things started with a nice 19-yard completion to Larry Fitzgerald on the first play from scrimmage and then followed that with a 10-yard rush from Beanie Wells.
From there, the wheels feel off as Kolb and Early Doucet weren't in the same book, let alone on the same page. Kolb and Wells then got confused on a rush play that ended up going nowhere which was followed by a drive-ending incomplete shovel pass to Wells while Kolb was scrambling.
The Cardinals defense did well on their first series holding the Chargers to four plays and 22 yards before forcing a punt.
On their next drive, Kolb looked even shakier with several poorly thrown balls but the Cardinals were able to take advantage of a questionable pass interference call to advance 21-yards. The only well thrown ball on the drive was a 15-yard pass to Todd Heap who got a nice cheer from the crowd for his first pass back in Arizona.
The drive managed to produce three points off a 36-yard Jay Feely field goal after going 48 yards in eight plays in 3:11.
After a long return gave the Chargers good field position, they went 27 yards on seven plays which put them in position for a 52-yard field goal.
The Cardinals came right back and on their second play Kolb found Fitzgerald in an open seam down the middle for an 80-yard TD catch. The first for Kolb in a Cardinals uniform. It certainly looked like the Charger blew an assignment in zone coverage.
After cornerback Greg Toler left the game with a left knee sprain, rookie Patrick Peterson stepped in and grabbed his first interception of his career and with his speed was into the end zone in a flash.
Kevin Kolb finished the quarter 3-9 for 114 yards. That total was obviously inflated by the one long TD bomb to Fitz.