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Five Saints with the most to prove against the Chargers

The Saints go under the national spotlight with their NFL Network game against the Chargers on Sunday night, and there’s several players that need to show up in a big way.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints do battle with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in a nationally televised NFL Network broadcast. The team’s first preseason contest certainly didn’t end the way they wanted it to, leading to their 10th consecutive loss over the span of the past three years. However, Sean Payton’s squad looks to rebound after spending some time on the West Coast, and here’s a look at some of the players that need to put in a strong game.

Ken Crawley

Crawley’s first showing of preseason was pretty rough. He did have one pass breakup on the night, but had three total penalties called on him in addition to having some bad moments in coverage. He became a prime example of why you can’t put all your faith in someone ‘looking good’ in training camp practices. While one game doesn’t spell it all for someone like Crawley, a rebound is imperative against the Chargers.

Ted Ginn Jr.

Fans weren’t oblivious to what they were getting when with Ted Ginn Jr., as drops have followed him throughout his entire career. Against the Browns, Ginn was targeted twice and held without a reception, dropping a very easy touchdown grab. Assuming he plays, Ginn really needs to rebound. Sure, he’ll be able to stretch the field and be a big vertical threat for Drew Brees, but he needs to make the plays.

Garrett Grayson

Let’s just say it. The Saints won’t have three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Furthermore, Garrett Grayson isn’t anything that resembles the future of the team. Grayson, although he wasn’t horrible statistically speaking (11-for-16 for 126 yards), he took four sacks on the night and lost a fumble. Round 1 went to Ryan Nassib, who outplayed Grayson. There’s still time for the third-year quarterback to make his case, but at most we’re talking about a practice squad slot.

Ryan Ramczyk

Assuming Ramczyk is going to see some action at left tackle, all eyes will shift focus to see how he performs. Whether it’s Joey Bosa or Melvin Ingram rushing him, we’d like to get a sense that Ramczyk will be able to protect Brees. If I’m the Chargers, I’ll overload that side of the ball to see how the rookie handles himself. The early alternatives to not having Ramczyk be in the mix are veterans Khalif Barnes and Bryce Harris without Terron Armstead, which won’t have anyone feeling secure.

Stephone Anthony

The former first-round pick got off to a good start after a quietly strong performance in his 33 defensive snaps. Anthony came away with a sack, quarterback hit, and three tackles, including one for a loss. Versatility has been a point of emphasis on defense for Dennis Allen’s unit, and if Anthony can continue to show up under Mike Nolan’s tutelage, then that only makes the linebacker depth better for a team that needs it.