The Saints Defense
Last week, New Orleans gave up 296 scrimmage yards to the Atlanta Falcons’ running back duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. There’s an argument to be made that Atlanta’s running backs are better than the Chargers’, but I think Chargers fans would be happy with 200 scrimmage yards from its’ backs on Sunday, and that would represent a huge improvement in outcome for the Saints, so that’s certainly within the range of outcomes for Melvin Gordon and co. Allowing seven yards per carry is incredibly awful and there really is not any reason to expect significant improvement outside of the fact that it would be tough to be any worse.
The Chargers’ veteran signal caller is consistently the best player on the team. He is also the primary reason they can expect to go into every game with an opportunity to win. Despite the losses of his three favorite targets in the passing game in Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, and Antonio Gates, Rivers is still one of the best in the National Football League. He will almost certainly continue to make the likes of Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Henry look like one of the most dangerous offenses int he league. The Saints’ terrible defense won’t hurt either.
Against the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers lost yet another starter to a season-ending injury when Manti Te’o dropped to the turf on a non-contact injury. Unlike the other season-ending injuries we have witnessed this year, this one has forced a more talented player into the starting lineup. That player is Jatavis Brown, and he immediately made his presence felt. Brown’s athleticism, instincts, and knack for making plays sets him apart from almost every Chargers’ linebacker that we have watched in the last decade. He makes the base defense so much more dynamic and better equipped to handle opposing passing offenses, and that’s going to be very important with Drew Brees and the Saints coming to town. The Jatavis Brown era is underway and we are all better for it.