Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke Bellavia: Saints vs 49ers Game Day Preview
by Deke Bellavia,posted Nov 17 2013 9:09AM
New Orleans Saints (7-2)versusSan Francisco 49ers (6-3)
Sunday..November 17, 2013 Mercedes Benz Superdome
3:25pm Kickoff WWL 870AM / FM 105.3
Series History: The 49ers lead the series 46-24-2. The Saints have won six of the last seven meetings in the regular season.
Last week’s results: New Orleans beat Dallas 49-17; Carolina beat San Francisco 10-9
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Saints Coach Sean Payton on the Read Option Offensive Scheme
“I think it just depends on who you are looking at. I think it starts with a talented quarterback like San Francisco has. He (Colin Kaepernick) is very athletic and we’ve seen plenty of evidence where he can create the long run. It is one thing, if that position can run it just to keep you honest…it’s another thing when he’s the ball carrier and he becomes the running back. I think he’s got that skillset, but equally impressive is his arm strength off of play action. He’s right at the top of the league with big plays both in the running game and the passing game and it kind of sets one up from the other. There are certain things they want to do defensively to stop it and you might give up some things in the coverage end…and that is when he is able to take advantage of the looks he is seeing. It is challenging to simulate in practice to give the defense a realistic look of how it is on game day, so it presents a ton of challenges.”
Saints Quarterback #9 Drew Brees on the 49ers
“As good as they’ve ever been. There’s an expectation level every time you play those guys. They’re extremely disciplined and very talented…a lot of individually great players. Obviously, when you put them in there as a unit, they play very, very well together. There’s a definite style, a definite scheme that they just execute to perfection.”
San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh on the job Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan is doing
“Yeah, I think that as always, the job you do speaks for itself, and he has coached a lot of players (on the defense). He has coached a lot of guys, put them in a lot of different positions and they understand what he is trying to get done as a coordinator of the defense. That speaks volumes, when you can teach that many people…that well to play…that many different spots and roles. I think that speaks volumes right there.”
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis
Okay, folks, last year was last year. But, when we look back on the 2012 season, the end of the season started, when the Saints hosted the 49ers. After a dismal 0-4 start, the Black & Gold won five of their next six games to get to 5-5.
San Francisco was up next on the schedule with the Saints back in the NFC playoff hunt. New Orleans took a 14-7 lead with 7:53 left in the first half. The dome was rocking and things were looking good. Then, disaster stuck.
A pick six late in the first half began a 24-7 run for the visiting 49ers as they beat the Saints 31-21. This sent New Orleans on a three game losing streak that would eventually end the Saints hopes for staying in the NFC Wildcard race.
The Saints are in much better shape this time around. And both clubs are in the midst of good divisional races. The 49ers are looking up at the NFC West, leading Seattle Seahawks. While the Saints are one step ahead of the surging, red hot Carolina Panthers.
Yes, this is just one game, but when the regular season is all said and done, the result of this game could weigh heavily on playoff positioning as well as which team has home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
San Francisco has a tenacious defense and the 49ers love to run the football. The 6-3 49ers take control of games by rushing the football and winning the turnover battle. After starting the season 1-2, the 49ers went on a five game win streak.
During that win streak San Francisco moved the ball on the ground at will against their opponents. The 49ers gained 919 rushing yards in that five game win streak, averaging 183.8 yards per contest. In their three losses this season SF averaged only 107 yards.
San Fran scored on average 34.3 points per game during that five game win streak, while in three losses the 49ers average only 6.3 points per game. And, of course, as we say each week, the turnover battle will be huge.
When the 49ers lose, they don’t fare well in the takeaway department. San Francisco is a combined minus (– 6) in the turnover battle in their three losses. Last week, in a 10-9 loss to the Panthers, the 49ers were even in takeaways.
In my opinion, it’s rather simple to breakdown the 49ers offense. Follow RB Frank Gore and TE Vernon Davis and you will easily see the success or lack-their-of…on the field for San Francisco. Gore is coming off a game in which he carried the ball 16 times for 82 yards in a 10-9 loss to Carolina. San Francisco will try to get Gore the ball more times than not this week in the Superdome against the Black & Gold. So pay close attention to RB Frank Gore.
And then there’s TE Vernon Davis. When Davis is in the game, QB Colin Kaepernick does well. And when Davis is not, well you get the picture. According to ESPN stats, Colin Kaepernick completes over 60 percent of his passes when Vernon Davis is in the game compared to just 43 percent, when Davis is on the sidelines. There is without question a feeling of comfort and security for Kaeperick when Gore does well and when TE Vernon Davis is in the game.
On the other side of the football, the 49ers defense is the real deal. Not often in the NFL will you find a team lose a game, when their defense has held its opponent to 10 points and 250 yards of total offense. That was the rare case last week when the 49ers fell to Carolina 10-9 even with a tremendous defensive effort against Panthers QB Cam Newton and the rest of the Cats offense.
New Orleans is coming off their best rushing output of the season. The Saints had 242 yards on the ground on 38 carries. But, that type of output won’t be needed to consider the running game a success.
Like Coach Payton says, each game takes a shape of their own and the Saints need to be effective at times against the 49ers, not all the time. San Francisco is 11th in the league in rush defense, allowing a little over 100 yards per game.
Getting to 100 yards or more on the ground would be considered a win for the Saints in my opinion. Defenses are having more success against the 49ers offense this season. And right now the Saints defense is playing well.
New Orleans is a different team, when they play at home in the Superdome. The Saints are a perfect 5-0 at home this season with a 20.2 average margin of victory. In fact, none of the Saints first five home foes have scored more than 17 points.
People, let’s keep it simple here. If I were in another part of the world, and I saw that a team was winning by 20 or more points…had not allowed more than 17 to each of their opponents…and were just a three point favorite, what would I predict? Duh?
The smart play here is to lay the three points and go with the Saints. Look for New Orleans to continue their dominant ways at home.
The Big Chief says New Orleans 28 San Francisco 17.
Yes, Saints victory today...........Hey SF (and you Whitner, the hitner)
HERE WE COME TO GET U!
Drew has chin strap grabbed and head forced into ground at the completion of his sack fumble.
I watched as Drew had his chin strap grabbed and his head forced into the ground. It is funny how Fox edited that out of it's highlights while Howie Long wondered how the proper way to tackle a QB should be. Hey Howie, watch the complete play andnot just the initial hit. The camera is always watching now if the networks would stop editing reality to create unreality, we might have games called correctly.