The San Francisco 49erstravel to the Bayou to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon. With a 6-3
record, the 49ers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Carolina Panthers at Candlestick in week 10. While the Saints at 7-2, are coming off a convincing win against the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously this looks like it would be a one sided affair to most on the outside looking in, but to the avid Niners fan, they see the silver lining. The 49ers have lined up against this team very well in the past 3 meetings. Especially the last one in Sept 2012 when the 49ers beat the Saints in the Superdome. This will be a very telling game to see how these 49ers stack up against one of the NFC top contenders on their home field.
Offensively these two teams are polar opposites. One is a passing machine who churns out receptions like its target practice. With the other willing to run the ball until the cows come home. Both highly effective in so many different ways. The only way to choose pros and cons are by position.
Drew Brees is an elite NFL quarterback that orchestrates the league’s 2nd ranked passing attack, already throwing for over 3000 yards and 25 TDs in 9 games. On the other sideline is you Colin Kaepernick who has struggled as of late in his 2nd year as a starter for San Francisco. With about half Brees’ yards passing total of 1675 and adding 310 on the ground, Kap will need to regain his rhythm through the air if he wants to beat the Saints.
The 49ers bolster the leagues 4th ranked running game. Lead by veteran Frank Gore and Kaepernick himself. They are not the only rushing options though. Behind that is Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and LaMichael James; a plethora or talent to choose from. The Saints actually don’t even average a 100 yards on the ground a game and have a tough test facing the Niners’ defensive front.Advantage- 49ers
The defensive side of the ball should create the biggest debate. After an abysmal season in 2012, the Saints have reshaped that defense under Rob Ryan, but are having issues stopping the run, which bodes very well for SF. In the Secondary both teams are relatively even allowing about 200 yards a game each puts them both in the top 10 versus the pass on defense. It is looking like both teams will be at relatively full strength participation from injured players, but with the game being on turf, it’s going to be a rough go at it for anybody all day long.
RUN D Niners have a stacked front 7 that are quick to filling holes and attacking the ball. They should be able to contain the run and isolate Brees to having to make plays all day. The Saints D has been shaky versus the run all year and will possibly see the same Sunday.Advantage- 49ers
This particular aspect can be decided by who ever can come up with more big plays. Brees has been susceptible to interceptions and Kaepernick struggles to find a solid rhythm through the air. With this type of secondary on both sides of the ball, it can become a long day for any QB.Advantage- Push
Both teams are middle of the pack in the regards to their special teams units. New Orleans has a better returner in Darren Sproles, while the 49ers are still waiting for someone to fill that role. They do on the other hand have a rather impressive coverage team and an above average punter and kicker. The Saints crew is a slight bit less effective as far as field goal percentage is concerned, but I really doubt this game comes down to a kick fest.Advantage- Push
In all honesty I do see this being a good game. With the potential of becoming a great game.
49ers 27 Saints 24