The San Francisco 49ers ordered in pizzas and watched last weekend’s playoff games at the team’s facility before discovering who their opponent would be Saturday afternoon at Candlestick Park. San Francisco will now try not to get sliced in eight different ways when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints come to town for an NFC Divisional Round showdown.
There are 53 men on the New Orleans Saints’ active roster. Nineteen of them share a similar background – they went undrafted coming out of college. Six more Saints were picked in the seventh round (most by other teams), meaning 25 active players, or more than 47 percent of New Orleans’ team, got here the hard way. It’s not uncommon for guys who don’t get drafted to still make the league and even flourish – no one wanted the game’s top back right now, Arian Foster of the Houston Texans. Tom Brady was famously the 199th player taken in his draft.
The Saints are 9-0 at home this season, including the playoffs, and a respectable 5-3 on the road. So not awful by any means. The offense, though, takes a significant dip when it’s away from New Orleans. The Saints averaged 41.6 points in their nine home games. Their production fell by more than two touchdowns as New Orleans averaged 27.25 points in its eight road games, and only (which is relative and may only apply to the Saints, Packers and Patriots) 25.8 points per game in five outdoor games this season.
It was reported earlier today that the Rams have received permission to interview Carolina Panthers head coach Rob Chudzinski. Now, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams have also received permission to meet with New Orleans Saints assistant coach Aaron Kromer.
All week the 49ers and Saints have been answering questions about an exhibition game they played against each other in August. Though both teams went on to have 13-3 seasons and will meet Saturday at Candlestick Park in an NFC division-round playoff game, they haven’t met since August. So that game — a 24-3 Saints victory — has become the only measuring stick to compare the teams. Specifically, how the 49ers will counter the New Orleans blitz.