The New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers come into their week five match up heading in totally opposite directions as the Saints are currently 0-4 and looking to earn their first victory of the season while the Chargers are 3-1 looking to continue their fine play. This should be an interesting match up as former teammates Drew Brees and Philip Rivers attempt to out duel one another and in the process lead their team to victory.
Entering the game the Saints are one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL, ranked 32nd in offensive yards allowed per game (463.3) and rushing yards allowed per game (186.8) as well as being 29th in points allowed per game (32.5). With that being said the Chargers should give the ball early and often to running back Ryan Matthews who is finally healthy after missing the first two weeks recovering from a collarbone injury. Matthews should be poised to have a breakout game this week against this terrible New Orleans defense he just needs Rivers to keep the defense honest with the passing game. Rivers is having a solid start to his season (87-126 for 897 yards, 6 TD and 4 INT) but he will look to exploit the Saints defense who is also pretty bad against the pass as well (276.5 passing yards per game which is 24th in the NFL).
The Chargers defense is having a good start to the season ranking 11th in the NFL in offensive yards allowed per game (316.5), fifth in rushing yards allowed per game (79.3) and sixth in points allowed per game (17.8). Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips leads San Diego with 3.5 sacks and be looking to pressure Drew Brees as often as he can. If Phillips and the rest of the Chargers pass rushers can get to Brees then it will be another long day for New Orleans and their fans at home in the Superdome.
Brees (110-191 for 1,350 yards, 10 TD and 5 INT this season) and the Saints offense isn’t really the issue for them being 0-4, well they need to get their running game on track however as they only gain 80.8 rushing yards per game which ranks 26th in the league. The New Orleans offense ranks near the top of the NFL in other statistical categories such as passing yards per game (320.8, 8th in NFL) and points scored per game (27.5, 10th in NFL). If Pierre Thomas (28 carries for 152 yards this season) can find away to get the running game on track for New Orleans then no matter how points that defense gives up in this game the Saints will have a legitimate chance at winning their first game of the year.
This is the week where the Saints win one; Sean Payton will be in attendance at the Superdome and New orleans will play inspired, Saints 41 – Chargers 34.