The New Orleans Saints head into the Division Playoffs full of confidence after setting a postseason record in total yards. They put on a clinic scoring 35 second-half points against Detroit in last week’s Wild Card win. The Saints will be visiting the gritty San Francisco 49ers who has one of the league’s top defenses and running backs in Frank Gore.
The Niners come in with a game plan of controlling the clock with their ground game and playing tough defense. Gore will need to have a huge game in order to keep the pressure off of quarterback Alex Smith. If San Francisco can get their running game going, they can try and keep and ball out of quarterback Drew Brees’ hands. It’ll be important to limit Brees’ possessions and win the field position battle because it’ll be difficult to keep the red-hot Saints off the scoreboard. If the Niners get behind early, it will not suit their strengths. They cannot allow the game to go into a quarterback duel. Gregg Williams will not hesitate to bring the heat.
Brees and the Saints have been dismantling nearly every defense they have come across and that won’t change here. The Niners may be able slow them down just a bit, but the Saints will find a way to get their points. New Orleans simply has too many explosive weapons compared to San Francisco. We all know about their explosive aerial attack but their ground attack cannot go unnoticed. Pierre Thomas, Darren Spoles, and Chris Ivory all made game-changing plays last week. If the Saints can get the ground game going then you can say goodnight to the Niners.
People have been bringing up New Orleans’ history in road playoff games, but that shouldn’t be the issue here. As tough as the Niners are, the Saints have more playmakers and will win this game. The Saints’ offensive blocking schemes will allow big plays to open up for Drew Brees and co. Unless Alex Smith has some Tim Tebow in him, it’s going to be difficult for the Niners to scrap up enough points to win this one.
New Orleans Saints 27- San Francisco 49ers 17