Kristian Quick Hits: Saints vs 49ers separation weekend
November in the NFL is usually where we see teams start to pull away in their respective divisions and conferences. This Sunday, when the Saints meet the 49ers in the Superdome, we'll get to see who's ready to make the playoff push and who's not. The Saints are 7-2 and trying to keep pace with Seattle in the NFC playoff picture for the number one seed. San Francisco is two games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West. A loss by the 49ers would be devastating to their division hopes. A loss by the Saints would make it really difficult to overtake the Seahawks for the top spot in the conference. The Saints still have a matchup with Seattle looming in early December and two meetings with Carolina. The Panthers are nipping at the Saints heels at 6 and 3.
In two previous meetings, the 49ers have bullied the Saints with physical play on defense and dominating rushing on offense. This season the Saints stack up against San Francisco a little better than years past. The 49ers want to keep this thing low scoring and milk the clock late in the game with their 4th ranked rushing attack. The Saints want to turn this game into the Autobahn race track with a scoring fest. San Francisco is dead last in the NFL in passing offense. If the Saints jump out to a 10 point lead, it might really put the 49ers in a deep hole.
The Saints will look to build on their rushing performance of a week ago, when they rolled up over 200 yards on the ground in a decisive victory over the Dallas Cowboys. However, this isn't the Swiss cheese defense orchestrated by Dallas. The Niners pride themselves on stopping the run and turning those big linebackers free to make life miserable on quarterbacks and receivers with punishing hits. If they Saints can amass 120 yards rushing against this defense, it will be a win on the scoreboard. Also, it will go a long way in proving the Saints are ready to make a playoff push.
I like the Saints to pull this one out with a 24 to 21 win. Buckle up, this one will be hard hitting and full of drama.