It’s great defense against great offense as the San Francisco 49ers (6-3) travel to New Orleans and take on the Saints (7-2) Sunday afternoon on FOX.
The Saints are fresh off a blowout win against the Cowboys where their high powered offense racked up 625 total yards and 40 first downs. Drew Brees has continued his excellent play this season throwing 25 touchdowns and only having 7 picks on the season. Weapons like Jimmy Graham who is the best tight end in the league, Marques Colston who is a consistent deep threat , and Darren Sproles who has a knack for making big plays at the most crucial times, have made this offense nearly unstoppable. Not only that, but their running game has come around which has made for a more balanced attack. Add fact that the game is in the Superdome where the Saints are almost unbeatable, and the 49ers will face an uphill battle on Sunday.
After winning five games in a row, all by double digits, San Francisco got beaten at their own game against the Carolina Panthers. Colin Kaepernick continued his ongoing struggles by failing to throw for 100 yards in the loss and the rest of the offense also struggled mustering only nine points. Questions about Kaepernick’s ability to lead this Superbowl contender are at an all-time high and it may be now or never in the match-up with the Saints.
Ironically, the best weapon the Niners have for slowing down that Saint offense is an efficient offense of their own. The 49ers must continue to run the ball effectively with Frank Gore and keep Drew Brees and the rest of his play makers on the sideline s. This is a bigger game for the 49ers and they must come out and throw the first hay maker to take the crow out of the game.
Player to watch: Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick has been criticized immensely due to his inconsistent play and it should be interesting to watch him try to overcome this adversity against a pretty stingy defense coached by Rob Ryan.
Key Factor: Niners’ pressure on the quarterback
For the for the 49ers to win this game, they are going to have to find away to make Drew Brees uncomfortable with their pass rush. Aldon Smith should see more action this week and needs to have an impact.
Bottom Line: Not so easy in the Big Easy
The last time the 49ers where in a hostile environment like this, they got blown out by the Seahawks. This offense has struggled with crowd noise in the past and will most definitely be exposed to this on Sunday. The 49ers defense has played very well recently to stop offense like New Orleans is too much to ask.