The New Orleans Saints could easily be 4-0 right now.
Watch the Chargers take on the Saints at 8:20 p.m. EDT on NBC or NFL RedZone.
New Orleans lost to the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers by eight, the Kansas City Chiefs by three and the Green Bay Packers by one. Those are four one-score games that, again, could’ve easily gone the other way.
Knowing that, the Saints aren’t out of the playoff race—not even close. Sure, after digging themselves a huge hole, they have an extremely challenging road ahead. But with Brees still putting up monster numbers, they’re more than capable of pulling it off.
Facing off against a talented Chargers team at home on national television is an ideal way to kick-start a comeback. Of course, when you’re 0-4, you can’t be too picky. New Orleans is desperate for a W, but don’t overestimate that desperation.
It'd be foolish to expect New Orleans to win because it's "due" or because it "can't start the season 0-5, right?"
Sure, the Chargers are where the Saints want to be. Not only are they 3-1 and on top of the AFC West, but their only loss was to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, which you could argue is the best team in the NFL right now.
But don’t believe for a second that San Diego will lose Sunday night’s showdown because it's content while New Orleans is in do-or-die mode. The Denver Broncos are right on the Chargers’ heels. If Norv Turner’s crew loses, Peyton Manning will be in position to eliminate San Diego’s tiny cushion that is its division lead in Week 6.
Desire alone won’t win the Saints the game. Execution will. And while New Orleans’ air attack has been phenomenal this season, its ground game and defense must improve to knock off the Chargers.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.