Story line: After four single-digit losses, quarterback Drew Brees is desperate for Saints' first victory without suspended Coach Sean Payton. It might help that Brees persuaded the NFL to let Payton and other bounty-gate figures come to the Superdome as the quarterback tries to surpass Johnny Unitas' record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. There's more motivation for Brees, too, considering he's facing the team that let him walk in favor of Philip Rivers.
Chargers said: "A Drew Brees team, with what they've been through, you can't ever count them out of anything. We'll get their best and we've got to prepare to give them our best." — Rivers
Saints said: "We've just got to finish. We believe we're going to turn this thing around at any moment. Once we do, look out." — Brees
Bottom line: The Saints are favored by 3 1/2 points Saints also have former Chargers back Darren Sproles, playing his first game against San Diego. Brees beat the Chargers in London in 2008. Chargers receiver Robert Meachem is a former Saint.