Week 5: San Diego Chargers At New Orleans Saints
- QuarterbackThe Chargers are rolling in the early season under quarterback Philip Rivers. While he has always been an unorthodox thrower, Rivers gets the ball away in rhythm and is usually quite accurate in his delivery. One of the strongest leaders in the game.Drew Brees will own the record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass if he can throw one in this game. He is currently tied with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas and a TD pass in this game would give him 48 straight games with a scoring pass. Brees is still one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league.
- OffenseThe Chargers want to run the ball with Ryan McNeil and Jackie Battle in order to take some pressure off of Rivers. Battle has a nose for the endzone and will pay the price to get there. Wide receivers Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal along with tight end Antonio Gates are Rivers’ top targets.The Saints showed signs of getting in rhythm in their Week Four loss in Green Bay, but they just can’t quite get over the hump. Look for wide receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jimmy Graham to attack the Charger secondary with big plays early.
- DefenseThe Chargers have some weaknesses on defense – particularly in coverage – but they know how to force turnovers. The took the ball away from the Chiefs five times in the first half of their 37-20 victory. The Chargers ended up with six takeaways in the game. Cornerback Quentin Jammer had eight tackles and a forced fumble against the Chiefs.The Saints are giving games away on defense. The pass defense can’t stop opponents when they need to convert a big play. That’s going to keep them from turning into a winning team. Strong safety Roman Harper had nine tackles against the Packers but he does not get much help from his teammates.
- Special TeamsThe Chargers are confident that placekicker Nick Novak can do a solid job since No. 1 kicker Nate Kaeding is injured. Novak made 3-of-3 FG attempts in his first game this season.Thomas Morstead did not have a great game against the Packers, averaging 36.0 yards per punt. Garrett Hartley has missed FG attempts each of the last two weeks. Darren Sproles can make things happen as a return specialist.
The Saints have fallen badly and they are probably not going to save their season. However, they are going to win some games and show off their offensive power from time to time. This figures to be one of those games. The Chargers are off to a solid start, but they have struggled with consistency under Norv Turner.