Drew Brees will be making his first ever start in San Diego since joining the New Orleans Saints. After all of these years, Brees has yet to make a trip back to San Diego to play football. He will revisit his former team this afternoon as a member of the Saints. With all that he’s accomplished in New Orleans, people forget that he played with the Chargers from 2001 to 2005. Brees elevated his game to another level as a Saint, winning a Super Bowl and breaking records. There was some hesitation in the free agent market regarding Brees. He had a gimpy shoulder which made many teams scared to sign him. The Saints’ investment paid off tenfold. They just recently signed him to a few more years to stay in New Orleans. Brees is still a talented quarterback, and given the other options available out there, it felt like a necessity to give him a new contract.
I do wonder what would have happened if Brees stayed in San Diego. The Chargers would have never drafted Eli Manning, and immediately swapped with the Giants which ultimately resulted in Philip Rivers being a Charger. The Chargers were not too confident in his shoulder and opted to go elsewhere in another direction. Rivers has turned out to be a decent quarterback, so it hasn’t all gone to waste. However, if that never happened, and Rivers was a bust, we’d still be talking about how dumb the Chargers were today. So, then you start to wonder where Philip Rivers would be today, too.
Rivers has had a nice career in San Diego, and continues to produce at a high-level now. He has an outstanding QB rating of 109.4 and has yet to throw an interception in 2016. He’s passed for 5 touchdowns and 789 yards. Brees counters Rivers with a 105.1 QB rating of his own. Terrific numbers are in his corner as well, with 8 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. Brees looks anything but a player who is over the hill. He has undoubtedly repaid this employer with some solid production on the football field. Nevertheless, the Saints are 0-3 and need a win. We’ll see if he can do it against his former team in San Diego this afternoon. Find the pick below.
New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Chargers -3.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Chargers Pick:
The Saints were poised to get their first win over their rivals, the Atlanta Falcons. Not to be, as the defense was ravished again, this time by Matt Ryan. The Falcons scored 45 points to win a 45-32 shootout. New Orleans has been attempting to get their defensive problems ironed out for a few years now. They’ve gone through different defensive coordinators, rolled through different talent and schemes, yet they still have no answer for opposing offenses.
The Saints enter Week 4 second-last in yards allowed per game, with 448.3 yards surrendered per game. They have also allowed 32 points per game. It doesn’t matter how well Brees plays, if they keep playing defense like a high school team they aren’t going to make any progress. Since they won the Super Bowl, there hasn’t been the same intensity and fire on the defensive side of the ball.
Luckily for the Saints, Brees and the offense has been able to preserve some decency. The Saints are 3rd in total offense and 1st in the NFL in passing yardage per game with 341.7 yards. The Chargers are a team that are capable of being thrown in, as they are allowing 322 yards per game through the air. The Saints should be able to move the ball with ease on this Chargers’ defense. The Chargers’ schedule has consisted of the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Colts. Indianapolis is the only team in that group with a legitimate passing game. The Chiefs are not a bad team, but they aren’t a pass-first team.
In other words, the Saints are going to be the most potent air-attack they’ve seen thus far this season. They haven’t played an elite one, yet they are still allowing 322 passing yards per game. Brees hasn’t forgotten how the Chargers have up on him. I expect a big afternoon for him throwing the ball. The Saints will give yards up, but this should be a close game decided by a field goal. I had the Chargers handicapped at -2.5 or -2, so getting 3.5 with the Saints looks like a good play. I expect them to be at their hungriest in San Diego.
PICK: SAINTS +3.5 (-110)