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Preview: Chargers at Saints

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The New Orleans Saints might be one of the best 0-4 teams in NFL history, but that offers little solace as they host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night. Seventy-seven teams have started 0-4 since 1990, when the NFL began its 12-team playoff format, and only one - the 1992 Chargers - reached the postseason. The Saints nearly got off the schneid last week before losing at Green Bay 28-27, and they'll continue to have trouble winning until their NFL-worst defense (463.2 yards per game) figures out a way to keep the opponent out of the end zone. The Chargers are coming off a 37-20 victory at Kansas City, and will try for their second consecutive 4-1 start.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Saints -3.5, O/U 54

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (3-1): San Diego is 20-20 in September and October since Norv Turner took over as coach in 2007, so another fast start has turned some heads. Turner has created a bit of a running back controversy as Ryan Mathews was forced to share duties with Jackie Battle last week. Battle (15 carries, 39 yards, touchdown; four receptions, 42 yards, touchdown) outperformed Mathews, who entered the doghouse with a fumble in San Diego's 27-3 loss to Atlanta on Sept. 23. Quarterback Philip Rivers is off to a decent start (69.0 completion percentage, six touchdowns, four interceptions) and so is the defense (five interceptions), which is allowing only 17.8 points per game.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (0-4): New Orleans is allowing 32.5 points per game, which has put a lot of pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and the offense. Brees, who has been sacked nine times, has completed only 57.6 percent of his passes, although he has 10 touchdowns against five interceptions. The biggest problem with the offense lies in the running game, which is averaging 80.8 yards and has only produced two touchdowns. Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner and the Saints' first-round draft pick in 2011, has only 90 yards on 32 carries. New Orleans started 0-4 in 2007 and won its next four to move into playoff contention, but faded to a 7-9 mark.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Brees will break Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas' 52-year-old record of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass if he throws one Sunday.

2. Saints RB-PR-KR Darren Sproles faces his former team for the first time. Sproles scored 21 touchdowns (11 receiving, six rushing, four on returns) in five seasons with the Chargers.

3. New Orleans won the last meeting 37-32 in 2008 at Wembley Stadium in London as Brees (339 yards, three touchdowns) and Rivers (341, three TDs) had nearly identical numbers.

PREDICTION: Saints 31, Chargers 28

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Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Capacity: 73,068

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Last Injuries

New Orleans Saints

  • Michael Thomas

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Thomas suffered left high-ankle sprain, and it has yet to be established if he will return against the Lions on Sunday.

  • Andrus Peat

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Peat left the previous game due to a high-ankle injury, and it is undetermined if he will line up Sunday versus the Lions.

  • Ty Montgomery

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Montgomery has been designated for the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury, and it is unknown when he team will bring him back.

  • David Onyemata

    Calf
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Onyemata was held out of the last game with an injury to his calf, and it is uncertain if he will take the field versus the Lions on Sunday.

  • Chase Hansen

    Hip
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hansen has sat out the previous two games due to a hip injury, and it is unknown if he will return against the Lions on Sunday.

  • Janoris Jenkins

    Illness
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jenkins is suffering from an unspecified illness, leaving his status for Sunday's tilt with the Lions up in the air.

  • Marcus Davenport

    Elbow
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Davenport has sat out the past three games with an elbow injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut Sunday against the Lions.

  • Jared Cook

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Cook departed the last game with a groin injury, and it is uncertain if he will face the Lions on Sunday.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Mike Williams

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Williams exited the last game due to a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will play Sunday against the Buccaneers.

  • Nick Vigil

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Vigil was held out of the last game with a groin injury, and it is uncertain if he will take part in Sunday's showdown against the Buccaneers.

  • Donald Parham Jr.

    Illness
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Parham Jr. has sat out the previous two games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup versus the Buccaneers on Sunday.

  • Melvin Ingram III

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Ingram III is on the injured reserve list due to a knee injury, and it is unknown when the team will activate him.

  • Justin Jones

    Shoulder
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Jones has been assigned to the injured reserve list due to a shoulder injury, and it is uncertain when the team will activate him.

  • Trai Turner

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Turner was absent from the lineup during the previous game with a groin injury, and it is undetermined if he will dress for Sunday's clash with the Buccaneers.

  • Justin Jackson

    Quadricep
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jackson has missed the past two games due to an injured quad, and it is unclear if he will return Sunday against the Buccaneers.

  • Nasir Adderley

    Face
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Adderley left the previous game with a facial injury, and it is up in the air if he will face the Buccaneers on Sunday.