TIME: 4:25 PM EST
LOCATION: Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, CA
BETTING LINE: SD -4
CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH
Last week the Saints, ranked 32nd in rushing yards, gave up a total of 217 rushing yards. With 152 of those yards came from number one running back Devonte Freeman, on the other hand three touchdowns were punched in by back up running back Tevin Coleman. Gordon is tied for first in the NFL with four rushing touchdowns in just three games. Look for him to exploit the Saints defense and put up big numbers. With fullback Derek Watt leading the way, Gordon has the potential to put up his second career 100-yard game as well as multiple touchdowns.
SAINTS PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mark Ingram finally contributed to a struggling Saints’ team this week on Monday night. Although he did not surpass the 100- yard mark, he did rush for 77 yards on 15 carries and averaged over five yards a carry. The Saints defense continues to struggle and if the Saints hope to leave San Diego with their first win of the season they must control the tempo of the game. This starts by establishing the run early and taking advantage of Manti Teo’s absence. Ingram has also offered a lift in pass protection for Brees and has found himself on the field for the majority of the Saints’ offensive snaps. Ingram was drafted to be the premiere back in the Saints’ offense and needs to embrace his role, taking advantage of his carries and a defense that will be keying on the gun slinging of Drew Brees.
SAINTS POSITION GROUP PREVIEW
There is no doubt that Drew Brees is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and his stats this season would back up that proposal but upon further examination, Brees is not playing his type of football. Drew has thrown a league high 140 times for 1,062 yards through three games but has made some costly mistakes for the Saints as well. Brees threw a key interception last week to Deion Jones that figuratively took the air out of the Superdome. Mistakes like these cannot happen when New Orleans’ defense is playing the way that they are. Look for Brees to be careful with his decision making while still pushing the ball up field if given the pass protection.
"I kind of like the fact that it's a short week so we can get back out there," Drew on the team's eagerness to play.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 28, 2016
Nothing helps a struggling secondary like a consistent pass rush; unfortunately for the Saints, they lack the pass rush needed to help out their struggling secondary. Phillip Rivers ego gets in the way of his throwing capabilities and the easiest way to frustrate a quarterback is to put him on his back time and time again. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen must find a way to dial up a pass rush and get in Rivers’ head to slow down San Diego’s offense.
The Saints are one of the most injured teams defensively right now but that is no excuse for the way they played last week. It is clear that the Saints cannot rely on Brees’ arm to win them every game and the Saints coaching staff must out coach their opponent if they have a chance to win. Dennis Allen has to find some answers for his struggling defense if they want to stay competitive and find their first win.
GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS
The New Orleans Saints travel to Qualcomm Stadium to take on the San Diego Chargers in a week four matchup featuring two high powered offenses. The Saints are still looking for their first win of the season as the Chargers are trying to stay afloat in their division. Both teams come into the game with key injuries on both sides of the ball and are hoping for their young talent to emerge as playmakers.
The Chargers have adopted the mentality “next man up” as they approach their week four matchup against the Saints. The Chargers have lost key players on both sides of the ball (Manti Te’o, Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen) but have continued to compete at a high level. With Phillip Rivers under center young players have emerged and contributed to the Chargers’ offense. Melvin Gordon has rebounded from a shaky freshman year to contribute to the Chargers’ offense as well. Look for head coach Mike McCoy to spread the ball among his offensive unit and take shots downfield to Travis Benjamin, as he tries to find gaps in an already shaky Saints’ defense.
On the other sideline Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are just looking for their first win of the season. With high expectation for their last two draft classes, the Saints’ organization is still waiting for their draft analysis to be relayed on the field. Given the Saints are missing five starters on the defensive side, they still are giving up so many points that even Drew Brees can’t dig them out of the hole they put themselves in. Sean Payton must commit to a balanced offensive attack to control the tempo of the game and keep what is left of his defense rested.
The Saints are getting desperate for a point in the win column and will will their way into a victory against a depleted Chargers’ roster.
Saints – 24 Chargers – 17
CHARGERS POSITION GROUP PREVIEW
The Saints are the second-to-worst defense in the league right now. With the Saints missing five starters, three included in the secondary, and their pass rush almost non-existent, the Chargers should have the opportunity and matchups for Rivers and company to have a nice day. Look for Rivers to take shots the Saints over the top as Melvin Gordon should be able to find gaps in the Saints’ front seven. The Saints will be kept guessing with a balanced Chargers’ offense which should allow for Phillip Rivers to shred the depleted Saints’ secondary.
The Chargers enter their week four home game tied for fifth in the NFL in interceptions (4) and will need to step up against a worthy opponent in Drew Brees. Three of the four interceptions have come from one key new addition, Casey Hayward. He will have the opportunity to matchup with one the youngest receiving cores in the league, particularly star receiver Brandin Cooks. On the other side of the field Jason Verrett, before last game, had given up the least amount of yards per game. Look for the cornerback duo to play aggressive and continue their dominant ways against the Saints’ high powered air attack.
If viewers caught the Chargers game week one then they witnessed how the coaching for the Chargers fell apart in by playing too conservative. San Diego followed their week one meltdown by unforgivably running up the score week two at home. The Saints have a well known weak defense, but with Drew Brees on the opposite sideline keep in mind the Chargers’ week two mentality with their play calling.