The Chargers will once again get off to a fast start. Melvin Gordon, who is currently tied for 1st in rushing TDs in the league, despite having the 17th most yards, will tear up the worst rushing defense in the league. They allow on average 149 yards per game and have allowed 6 rushing TDs (2nd most in the league), with 1 huge effort against an inferior (to the Chargers) rushing attack by the Giants. The Raiders and the Falcons both gashed the Saints, so it’d be a safe bet to place Melvin Gordon in the middle of those 2 teams and expect another 100-yard day, and a TD or two.
Philip Rivers will also need to throw the ball. The Saints have the 2nd worst overall defense in the league, and considering they have yet to record an interception (same as Philip Rivers), the streak should continue this game. He may or may not throw a TD, as most teams have not had to throw in the red zone with the Saints porous defense, but knowing the Chargers staff, we’ll see a screen to Benjamin in the red zone for a TD. I wouldn't be surprised if Rivers finally gets a rushing TD too. For what it is worth, the Saints have only “allowed” 3 TDs through the air this season. Expect Hunter Henry to have a “bounce back” game, but without the need of a big body in the red zone (due to our league-leading red zone TD machine, Melvin Gordon), he’s not a trusty start.
The Chargers do not have a good pass defense in terms of yards, but when it comes to turnovers, the Chargers are tied for 5th with 4INTs. Drew Brees will throw a pair of INTs (one to Hayward, one to Jason Verrett), along with a pair of TDs. The Saints have one of the worst rushing offenses in the league, so I would not be surprised to see Brees put up 400 yards. Despite the probable turnovers, he’s a must-start. Mark Ingram doesn’t get the looks he should, despite putting up solid numbers this year. He’s on some radars this week, but when you take into account the Chargers top 5 rushing defense, and ball-hawking players, Ingram won’t have a good game. I want Caraun Reid to get another fumble, caused by Jatavis Brown. That would be nice.
This will be a close game, played two very different ways. The Chargers will lean on their run game, despite having one of the most efficient passing games in the league, and the Saints will lean on their passing game, despite having an underutilized Mark Ingram. It will be a high scoring affair, with at least 2 turnovers for each side, and expect close to 900 yards of offense this week.