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Chargers @ Saints: Game Preview

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Key Matchups

 

Saints Secondary vs. Chargers Passing Attack

and

Saints Passing Attack vs. Chargers Secondary

The Saints face a San Diego offense very similar to their own meaning they are good at getting it done through the air while the opposite is true of their rushing attack. San Diego is only 26th in the league in that department. Yes, the Chargers do have LaDainian Tomlinson. Don't we have Deuce McAllister? The Saints are 27th in the league. Some things just don't make sense. Anyway, that means the Saints need some very solid play from its cornerbacks and safeties when Rivers inevitably takes to the air with the 9th best passing attack. Admittedly this makes me very nervous. It also means that Drew Brees and his merry band of receivers need to get the better of the Chargers secondary. Leave it to me to find the silver lining though. The Saints are 21st in the league in pass defense but the Chargers...are the worst! Fire away, Drew!

 

 

What the Saints Need to Do

 

Shut Down the Pass

We could be in serious trouble if our secondary starts looking like last years. If ever there was a game when we need to see the improvements made to this unit it is this one. Giving up big plays will be just devastating. I would like to avoid a shootout. If  they accomplish this task and stop the run like they have been this season then this game should tilt in our favor.

 

Get to Rivers

To help out the guys behind them the defensive line needs to get good pressure on Rivers. We still have yet to see much of the dominant play we all expected to see on the line. Ellis may be coming back for this game and McCray is coming off a great game. If we could just get those two highly paid guys on the end to step it up then we're sittin' pretty.

 

Pass, Pass, Pass

This should be our dream matchup for our Brees-centric offense. Like shooting fish in a barrel. If Drew is on top of his game and not too jet lagged he ought to make the Chargers secondary look like...Jason David. Hopefully Brees gets back to spreading it around to whoever is open and doesn't try to force anything.

 

 

Players to Watch

 

Deuce McAllister/Pierre Thomas  This weeks game plan will probably call for a lot of passing so we probably shouldn't use this game as a barometer for Sean Payton's commitment to the run but it should be interesting to see how he uses Deuce and Pierre now that Reggie is gone. Maybe the direction of this teams running game will come into sharper focus.

Drew Brees Nothing gets a football player more pumped than playing against their old team. Especially when playing against them for the first time since they let you go. Add all of that to the fact that he is more than likely very upset with himself about last weeks performance and Payton's game plan will probably be pass heavy, we should see a lights out Brees returning to normal form. Also, he might know a little something extra about the guys on the other side of the line that he can exploit.

Marques Colston Is he ready? Now? Hopefully. If he's not, trying to make him ready is not the answer. But if he is it will certainly help to pick apart San Diego's defense. How sweet would it be to see a 100 yard game from Marques. It's been awhile.

 

Opponent Stats


San Diego Opponent
Total First Downs 118 153
Rushing 32 47
Passing 76 94
Penalty 10 12
3rd Down: Made/Att 37/82 31/89
3rd Down Pct. 45.1% 34.8%
4th Down: Made/Att 1/2 5/9
4th Down Pct. 50.0% 55.6%
Possession Avg. 27:28 32:32
Total Net Yards 2293 2564
Avg. Per Game 327.6 366.3
Total Plays 378 475
Avg. Per Play 6.1 5.4
Net Yards Rushing 663 782
Avg. Per Game 94.7 111.7
Total Rushes 174 186
Net Yards Passing 1630 1782
Avg. Per Game 232.9 254.6
Sacked/Yards Lost 10/67 17/81
Gross Yards 1697 1863
Attempts/Completions 194/124 272/183
Completion Pct. 63.9% 67.3%
Had Intercepted 5 6
Punts/Average 23/48.9 25/47.5
Net Punting Avg. 42.3 40.1
Penalties/Yards 31/225 35/278
Fumbles/Ball Lost 7/4 10/4
Touchdowns 22 17
Rushing 4 4
Passing 16 11
Returns 2 2

 

Passing Att Cmp Yds Cmp% Yds/Att TD TD% Int Int% Long Sack Lost Rating
P.Rivers 194 124 1697 63.9% 8.7 16 8.2% 5 2.6% 67 10/ 67 108.5
Team 194 124 1697 63.9% 8.7 16 8.2% 5 2.6% 67 10/ 67 108.5
Opponents 272 183 1863 67.3% 6.8 11 4.0% 6 2.2% 63t 17/ 81 91.0

 

Rushing No. Yds Avg Long TD
L.Tomlinson 123 446 3.6 41t 4
D.Sproles 29 140 4.8 21 0
M.Tolbert 10 33 3.3 11 0
V.Jackson 1 31 31.0 31 0
P.Rivers 8 9 1.1 9 0
J.Hester 2 3 1.5 3 0
C.Chambers 1 1 1.0 1 0
Team 174 663 3.8 41t 4
Opponents 186 782 4.2 49 4

 

Receiving No. Yds Avg Long TD
V.Jackson 26 478 18.4 60 3
A.Gates 24 307 12.8 25 4
L.Tomlinson 24 150 6.3 28 0
C.Chambers 11 226 20.5 48t 5
M.Tolbert 10 134 13.4 67 1
D.Sproles 8 152 19.0 66t 1
M.Floyd 7 140 20.0 49t 2
B.Manumaleuna 6 32 5.3 8 0
C.Davis 4 59 14.8 20 0
L.Naanee 4 19 4.8 6 0
Team 124 1697 13.7 67 16
Opponents 183 1863 10.2 63t 11