OK, we all know what happened last January, and we are all tired of hearing about the game that Vernon Davis had against the Saints that ended the Black and Gold season. That was then, and this is now, and once again a lot is on the line for both teams.
The 49ers are trying to maintain control of the much-improved NFC West, and the Saints are in the midst of a solid comeback run that has made each and every remaining game a must-win for New Orleans if they are to make an appearance in the NFC post season.
New Orleans is a slight underdog at home facing a team that is solid in all phases of the game, despite San Fran being a little gimpy at the QB. Regardless of who sees the most time under center for the 49ers, this team is built to thrive, even with average production from the QB.
The Saints need to do what they have been doing well in their last five wins, and obviously stay away from the things they did in their five losses. In five wins the Saints offense has shown tremendous balance, rushing the ball for 140 yards or more in each of their last three games. And, they have been sound in turnovers finishing up plus two last week in a big 38-17 win over Oakland.
Breaking down this game is kind of tricky. If you say that the Saints need to maintain a balance on offense of even or close on rush-to-pass, that is not necessarily as true as when the Saints had to pass more than not last January when they really found some good match-ups that helped the Saints get back into the game.
Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis figure to again be big factors in this game after they both put up big numbers in the last meeting. The big thing here to look for is if the Saints can continue to rush the ball at a high level.
If New Orleans can duplicate their recent ground game success, the Saints will be doing so against the best defense have faced to date, by far. I can tell you that if the Saints rush for 120 yards or more in this game, they will be 6-5 going into a NFC South battle against Atlanta.
New Orleans is thin at right tackle and the 49ers front seven are the best in football according to many, including Saints Coach Joe Vitt. Aldon Smith is coming off a huge game as he gave the Bears O-Line fits all game long.
San Francisco knows that if they are going to have any shot at containing the Saints offense they must get a solid, consistent push up front. Jermon Bushord needs to have another good game. “This is a big challenge for us. We have to go out and play well,” Bushrod told me at the Saints players show last week.
Defensively, the Saints need to continue locking things down in the red zone. Since the win over the Eagles, the Saints have come up with big stops deep, with their backs to the wall. New Orleans has forced field goals, created turnovers, and more importantly, cashed in on turnovers by turning them into points.
Vernon Davis, Randy Moss and the play of WR Michael Crabtree have the Saints concerned. Crabtree has really begun to come into his own, and he is starting to climb the ladder of elite pass-catchers in the National Football League.
Both teams are sound in the special teams and both teams are coming off impressive wins.
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis
New Orleans being an underdog at home is a something that does not occur often, and Vegas tells me that the Saints are still the best value at home when it comes to the spread. Vegas says that the Saints are the best bet as a home team, no matter if they are giving points or receiving them.
You know the Saints are two wins away from scaring the hell out of the rest of the league and getting right back in the thick of the playoff hunt. Yes, I truly think if the Saints beat the 49ers and can clip those dam dirty birds next, they will be the most feared team in the NFL.
I think this will be a very hard fought game, but if the Saints can get a tempo started early, like they did last time after spotting the 49ers a 0-17 lead, then New Orleans will not only win…they will roll.
Take the points as a holiday gesture and lay the money on the Saints. I like the Saints to win by two scores in this one.
San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) @ New Orleans Saints (5-5)
Sunday November 25th 3:25 Kickoff WWL Radio
Last week’s results: Saints beat Oakland 38-17 and 49ers beat Chicago 32-7
I'm glad u finally said it. I'm sick of hearing and reading on other networks,how the Saints have no chance against the 49ers. That's the same ones who said the same thing when we played ATL. We all know how that turned out!!
The 49er's thank you Mr. Bree's
Colin looked more like Drew than Drew did lol
9ers "D" is ALL DAT
Deke... Never allow your intimate feelings about a team interfere with true analysis. That's how mistakes like Saints by 2 scores happen.