The New Orleans Saints (0-4) will be hosting the San Diego Chargers (3-1) in each team’s week five matchup. The Chargers are standing atop the AFC West division and looked poised to make the playoffs this season. The Saints are at the bottom of the NFC South division and looking to get their first win of the season.
The Saints’ chances of making the playoffs this season are very slim now but not impossible. At this point in the season every game for the Saints is a must-win and they must win this game against the Chargers.
The Chargers are looking to improve to 4-1 but face a potent Saints offense who can light up the scoreboard. The Saints on the other hand will be facing a Chargers team that allows only 17.8 points per game. Drew Brees and the offense will need to carry the team to victory as the Saints defense is still trying to find some consistency.
Injury Report: Here is the injury report for both teams as of today Friday, October 5th, 2012. Courtesy of NFL.com
Tyronne Green G Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Nate Kaeding K right Groin Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Shareece Wright CB Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Brodrick Bunkley DT — Did Not Participate In Practice —
Travaris Cadet RB Shoulder Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Jonathan Casillas LB Neck Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Roman Harper S Hip Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
David Hawthorne LB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Akiem Hicks DT — Full Participation in Practice —
Malcolm Jenkins S — Full Participation in Practice —
Turk McBride DE Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Lance Moore WR Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Joe Morgan WR Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Saints X Factor: The Saints x factor for this week is without a doubt Brees. Brees has a chance to make NFL history again as he attempts to break Johnny Unitas’ touchdown record. If Brees throws one touchdown he will set the new record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown at 47 games. This game will no doubt be very emotional for Brees as he will be playing his former team that essentially gave up on him.
Furthermore, Sean Payton will be in attendance as Brees attempts to break the record. Brees will have to put on another stellar performance and outscore Phillip Rivers and the Chargers.
Chargers X Factor: The Chargers x factor this week is wide receiver Robert Meachem. Meachem will face off against his former team for the first time since leaving New Orleans in the off-season. Meachem has been less than spectacular this season as he has only hauled in six catches for 92 yards.
This game should be emotional for the Saints and he would love to have a breakout game against his former team. Rivers should go to Meachem early and often as he could potentially light up the Saints’ thin secondary.
How the Saints can win this game: The Saints can win this game if Brees plays well and limits his turnovers. The Saints have been relying on Brees all season and the superstar quarterback will win need to carry the Saints again and get them over the hump. Brees will have to use all of his receivers and mix it up and one of them will help him make history again this season.
How the Chargers can win this game: The Chargers’ defense will try to slow down Brees and the Saints dynamic offense. However, against a high scoring offense like the Saints the Chargers will need to put some points on the board. If the defense can slow down the Saints offense then Rivers and the Chargers offense will have to handle the rest.
Running back Jackie Battle is the starting running back this week and the Chargers to look to get the run going against the Saints.
Final Prediction: This game will be very emotional for members of both teams but none more than Brees. I think Brees will not let his team down and having Payton in the stands should get the entire team fired up. This game is a must-win game for the Saints and I think the Saints will come out with a victory and Brees will come out with a new record. Saints win 28-20.