John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Saints look to finally get into the win column with a Sunday Night Football game against the Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints will meet on Sunday Night Football in a game that has the feeling of a must-win for the winless Saints. The Chargers, meanwhile, are hoping to maintain their lead in the AFC West.
These are two high-powered offenses. One of them, the Chargers, are in the spot we figured they would be leading the AFC West. The other, the Saints, are the league's most disappointing team through the first month.
There are a lot of story lines in this one, including the Chargers defense facing Darren Sproles. Here are three more questions to key in on before the game:
Can the Saints finally get a W?
If you said a month ago the Saints would start the season 0-4 you would've been laughed out of the room. There was no reason for anyone to think the Saints would be this bad. Struggle without Sean Payton on the sidelines? Sure. But not 0-4 bad.
If the Saints are going to be in contention this season, the winning streak has to start on Sunday night against the Chargers. There is no other choice. It's unlikely they make a run at 0-4. It's near impossible to think they'd do it at 0-5.
This is a must-win for the Saints.
Who will lead the Chargers in rushing?
The easy answer to this is that it'll be their first round pick, Ryan Mathews. But this is a tough question if you've been paying attention.
Undrafted free agent Jackie Battle is the new No. 1 in San Diego. Well, maybe. Battle has at least 14 carries in two of the Chargers four games this year. Mathews is recovering from an injury so he has reason to start slow this year but it is concerning that he isn't the clear cut choice here.
Look for the Chargers to split carries between the two again. Battle had 15 carries last week while Mathews had 14 carries.
Who can win the shootout?
The Chargers have the sixth-ranked defense but this game has the feeling of a shootout. Philip Rivers completing 69 percent of his passes but the turnover issue is still there with four interceptions in four games. Rivers can light it up if he has to, he's shown that. But so can New Orleans and that offense. Despite their horrid 0-4 start, the Saints offense is ranked 10th in points scored. They can still get yards in chunks and put up a lot of points on the scoreboard.
If this comes down to a shoot out, who are you picking?