The Chargers have a slight edge in the regular season series between the two clubs, leading it 7-5. However, six of the Chargers' wins came in the first seven matchups between 1973 and 1997. Since 2000, the Saints lead the series, 4-1, including victories in 2008 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, 2012 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and 2016 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego since former Chargers signal-caller Drew Brees signed with the Black and Gold as an unrestricted free agent in 2006. In New Orleans' first regular season contest overseas on October 26, 2008, Brees completed 30-of-41 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 121.9 passer rating to lead the Saints to a 37-35 win, while linebacker Jonathan Vilma had nine solo tackles and one fourth quarter interception New Orleans entered the 2012 contest with an 0-4 record on the year, yet they emerged with a 31-24 victory as Brees surpassed Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, hitting wide receiver Devery Henderson on a 40-yard strike to notch Brees' 48th straight game with a touchdown through the air. Wide receiver Marques Colston was the recipient of Brees' other three touchdown passes as both he and Henderson surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark. Brees completed 29of-45 throws for 370 yards and a 110.4 passer rating on his record-breaking night. Brees also rallied the Saints from an 0-3 start in San Diego in the 2016 contest at Qualcomm Stadium, engineering a fourth quarter comeback to put the Saints in the win column for the first time that season. The Saints trail the Chargers in preseason play as well, having won only three of their seven meetings, but the last two contests, as they will look to tie the exhibition series on Saturday night. The last time the two teams met in exhibition play was 2017, when the Saints traveled to Southern California early and practiced with the Chargers for two days prior to posting a 13-7 win at the Stubhub Center on August 20. The Black and Gold broke a ten-game losing streak in the preseason in the process. Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara showed the first signs of his potential brilliance as a professional in the contest when he had a spectacular 50-yard rushing touchdown just over two minutes into the contest. He also added a 22-yard reception and 11 -yard punt return in his limited action on the evening. Kicker Wil Lutz also booted two field goals as New Orleans' offense and special teams were backed by a defensive performance that surrendered only 158 total net yards and zero offensive points. Linebacker Manti Te'o in facing his former team for the first time, led the Saints with eight tackles and a sack, while Craig Robertson posted six stops and a quarterback takedown and A.J. Klein split a sack, as the club's 2017 linebacking trio provided a preview of things to come. In addition to Lutz's two field goals, punter Thomas Morstead had a 46.7 net punting average as he booted five of his nine kicks inside-the-20-yard line to help New Orleans win the field position battle.
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