The Chargers are spunky and different. Justin Herbert, the sixth pick quarterback, is the real deal and has put the Chargers on his back regularly, but the loss of Austin Eckler is enormous and will make all the difference for the Bolts.
The Saints are a strange team Drew Brees is heading to Canton and should always be remembered for what he has done, but his arm is gone, the Saints organisation know this and Head Coach Sean Payton knows this, the only person that doesn’t is Brees himself. This aside the Saints are a better team and should look to head back to the top of the NFC South.
Season So Far
Since an accidental lung puncture to Tyrod Taylor, The Chargers are 0-3. However promising sings are coming for the Bolts as all three games have been lost by one score. Herbert, since coming in for Taylor, has been the real deal, strong mobile and his arm is something different. He is was the football masses call “a complete QB” the central problem the Chargers are injured with 12 starters out, including three prominent offensive players two offensive linemen and then 6 starting defensive players across the board.
Despite this, The Chargers nearly pulled off an upset last week over another NFC South team as the lead 24-7 over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But a late fumble in the first half was the beginning of the end and TB12 and co. Scored 24 second-half points to come away with the win.
The Saints, however, have had a less than a stellar season and are lucky to be sitting at .500. Credit should be given to Payton and the Saints coming back from 14-0 to then score five straight touchdowns on a stuttering Detroit Lions is impressive even for the offensive genius that is Payton. All of this is without lead wide receiver Michael Thomas who was unquestionably the best wideout in the NFL last year. Thomas will return this week and him paired with Alvin Kamara who himself has been having a great season. The Saints will Nickle and Dime their way through this.
What the stats say
The Chargers must be careful of an arsenal of weapons on the Saints offence. Brees has been building chemistry with Emmanuel Sanders and with Thomas back, Sanders will look to build on his six catches 93 yards and a touchdown. As well statistically the best running back in the league in Kamara with his 4.4 yards per carrying and 83 yards from 13 rushes last week. Kamara will hit you from the front as well as the backfield as Payton likes getting him involved in the passing game. With Kamara in the passing game, it has meant more carries for Latavius Murray the power back scored two touchdowns last week against the Lions. Combine this with the Chargers giving up 111 yards to the Buccs Ronald Jones both running backs of the Saints possess more significant talent than Jones and any of the Buccs backfield, we could see a lot of Brees handing it off.
If this does become a shootout Herbert is the QB to have as he averaged 11.6 yards per pass attempt last week and came out with a 137.7 QB rating, the Saints will have to try to cover Keenan Allen who has been Herbert’s go-to guy in the offence, but that makes sense as he’s Keenan Allen. The superstar wide receiver has been Pro Football focus’s top AFC wide receiver for three weeks now. The worrying sign for the Chargers is that without Austin Eckler they only managed 15 rushing yards in the second half against the Buccs, The Saints have been good against the run as well with them holding teams to under four yards a carry this season.
Historically the Chargers lead the all-time series, 7-5 and are 4-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. This is superficial as Brees has not lost a game against The Bolts when he has started.
Justin Herbert will be able to say in three of his first four starts he has faced Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, and lost to all of them.
Brees and the Saints are too much for this banged-up Chargers team, my hope is that Herbert does not get hurt as he is special.
Thomas, Kamara, and Murray will all have big days, and the Saints will win by double digits.
Saints 34- 17 Chargers