MNF and the 2-2 Saints welcome Justin Herbert and his Chargers to the Superdome looking to get themselves above .500 for the first time since week 1.
The Chargers did what the Chargers do in week 4 and that’s play up (in this case) or down to the opposition they’re facing and lost a shootout with the Tampa Bay Bucs in a game where Justin Herbert made a lot of throws that you just don’t see rookies make. He’s looked a stud since replacing Tyrod Taylor just minutes before the Chiefs game it it was confirmed this week that it is now Herbert’s job full time but he will be without his number one Running Back as Austin Ekeler will be out for this one and will miss 4-6 weeks after picking up a Hamstring injury against the Bucs so we should expect to see a great deal more of the rookie Joshua Kelley tonight and going forward but this will be tough test for him as the Saints rank as one of the best Run Defense units in the league. On Defense the Chargers have been okay this year but struggled against both the run and the pass last week and will have to be at their very best as the Saints have scored 30 or more points in three of their four games so far this season whilst the Chargers have only posted over 30 points once and that was in last week’s losing effort.
The big news out of New Orleans in week 5 is Michael Thomas who although fit to suit up for the first time since picking up a high ankle sprain in week 1 will not as he has been suspended by the team for allegedly punching teammate CJ Gardner-Johnson in practice so the Saints will remain without their star WR for another week but with the form of Alvin Kamara they have another weapon in the short and intermediate passing game for defenses to worry about as well as Drew Brees seemingly rediscovering how to throw the ball downfield last week which I’m sure he’ll be keen to prove wasn’t a one off as he’ll be facing a Charger pass D which ranks 25th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. On Defense for the Saints it’s pretty good, they’ve yet to give up 300 yards to a QB this season and they’ve played Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford and I think if Dennis Allen simplified what he’s asking his Defense to do every week we’d see an even better unit.
I’m going to take a rookie passer to lead his underdog team to victory in the Superdome against the Saints especially when they’re missing arguably their best weapon on offense but every Charger game has been a close one so far and I think they can keep this one within 10 points.
PREDICTION: SAINTS 30 – 24 CHARGERS
BEST BET: CHARGERS +10.5 POINTS @ 8/13 with SkyBet. 1.5 point bet.