The defense going up against the high-powered Saints offense should be the more interesting match-up between these two teams. The Chargers are missing two starters in DE Joey Bosa and CB Trevor Williams so it will be interesting to see how they are able to hold up in the meantime.
The run defense will have it’s toughest task yet in stopping second-year RB Alvin Kamara and veteran Mark Ingram.
Out for another preseason game is 2018 third-round pick DT Justin Jones who was selected specifically to help on the inside with the experienced Brandon Mebane turning 33 this past year. Jones could possibly be an X factor in this defense’s run-stopping ability but it looks like we will have to wait until the regular season to see that possibly come to fruition.
In the meantime, here are the guys that the staff will be keeping a close eye on come game time.
Jamie Hoyle: I’ll be watching Kyzir White to see when and where Gus uses him with the first team defense. Will he just play between King and Phillips at dime linebacker, or will he continue to steal base defense snaps from Jatavis Brown, as he has done all week in practice?
Louis Gorini: I will be fixated on Derwin James. I’m excited to see him with the starters and a pro longed view of him against another team’s first teamers.
Cody Young: I’ll be watching Addae and Jenkins closely. Their snaps so far this preseason have been less than stellar, to put it mildly. Hopefully they’re just working through some offseason rust, and getting a longer look at them this week should give everyone a better idea of what we can expect when the season kicks off two weeks from now.
Daniel Stebbins: Isaac Rochell was getting a good amount of reps with the first team defense this week due to Bosa continuing to be out of commission. The progression in his game from last season has been tremendous, so I’m excited to see how he looks in this game. He did a great job with those practice reps, let’s see if it translates to similar success on Saturday.
Matthew Stanley: I basically want to see the whole 1st team D get an extended look, but if I have to pick just 1 it will be to see how Derwin James does with a few series with the 1s. He has looked good in practice from everything we’ve heard, and he has moved well in the games, but I think we are all anxious to see him make a splash play.
Michael Peterson: Instead of picking a specific player, I will go with the entire linebacking group that rotates with the rest of the starters. There are so many potential “starters” when you account for base, nickel, and dime packages that I’m interested to see if they continue to run nickel/dime for the speed or if someone like Kyzir White or Uchenna Nwosu will allow them the versatility to increase speed within their base look.