Chargers vs. Saints: Where and When to Watch Sunday's Primetime Battle

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2012

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 29:   Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers and Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints shake hands after the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 29, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

When the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints meet Sunday night under the primetime lights of Week 5’s marquee matchup, the excitement will be through the roof for the interconference battle.

Despite being at opposite ends of the spectrum—San Diego is 3-1 and New Orleans is 0-4—Sunday’s matchup will be one of the fiercest of the week.

With a lack of elite defenders on either team, NFL fans should be waiting for an epic offensive showcase.

Of all the games to watch in Week 5, make sure you don’t miss a second of the wild Chargers vs. Saints Sunday Night Football action.


Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans

When: Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

Listen: KLSD 1360 AM (San Diego) or WWL 870 AM (New Orleans)

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Betting Line: Saints -3.5 (Vegas Insider)


Players to Watch

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

Despite being benched for fumbling the ball too frequently, San Diego Chargers star running back Ryan Mathews has too much raw talent for the team to keep him off the field for very long.

With a beatable matchup against the 32nd-ranked run defense in the NFL for the Saints, Mathews will have his breakout game of the season rushing the ball and catching it out of the backfield.

If the young back gets the bulk of the carries (as he should), Mathews will have a huge statistical day and help his team complete the upset victory Sunday night.

Look for 20 carries and over 150 all-purpose yards from Mathews.


Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

There is no doubt that Drew Brees is one of the most talented quarterbacks in all of football, but the lack of help he gets from his defense hurts his cause. To ask Brees to put them team anymore on his shoulders is not fair.

With almost 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns through four games, there is no arguing that the veteran QB is playing amazingly well, but he will have to bring his full arsenal of tricks to stop a Chargers team performing under pressure.

If Brees can utilize his weapons against the 18th-ranked pass defense in the league, the Saints will be in a position to win at the end of the game.

Whether their defense can hold San Diego at bay is a much different story.


Philip Rivers, QB San Diego Chargers

No player has a bigger impact on the outcome of Sunday’s game than San Diego’s star quarterback Philip Rivers. When the veteran plays well, the team wins.

When Rivers falls off the wagon and starts throwing bad passes that get intercepted, though, the Chargers tend to lose.

Sunday night, San Diego needs its QB to keep his slate clean and match the offensive tempo of the New Orleans Saints—a lot easier said than done.

With a subpar season-to-date by Rivers’ standards, nothing can fix a broken offense better than the 24th-ranked pass defense in the NFL.

If the Chargers don’t have a huge offensive day on Sunday, they will never be a success in 2012—that starts and ends with Rivers.


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