Time switch presents challenge for Saints, Chargers

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

WATFORD, England -- Just got a very interesting e-mail from Paul Carr, Jeremy Lundblad and Dennis Renno of ESPN's production research team. They did a great job compiling stats on how teams have fared when having to make major changes in time zones.

Their research is based on three-hour differences in time zones. With the Saints and Chargers playing in London on Sunday and practicing here all week, this is very interesting. Obviously, the time difference is far greater for this game, but the three-hour distance is the only thing we've got that's close to a reasonable comparison.

For the record, London is five hours ahead of Eastern Time. That means the Saints are six hours ahead of New Orleans time and the Chargers are eight hours ahead of San Diego time. Also, there will be a switch in time in London (they're moving back an hour, just like "falling back'' in the U.S.).

Anyway, here's the stuff from the research guys:

It has been all the buzz this year to talk about the difficulty of traveling in the NFL and players falling out of their normal "time-body" routines.

Taking a look at the games, there is certainly an issue when teams have to make a 3-hour time difference road trip to play a game.

NOTES: For those of you who might track NFL totals, the average total points thus far in the 2008 NFL season is 44.6 PPG. In games where East Coast teams travel to the West, those games are averaging 50.7 PPG, an increase of 13.7 percent from the league average. When you include all of the games that include a 3-hour time differential, the total is 48.1, an increase of 7.8 percent from the league average.