The New Orleans Saints are coming off a dominant 45-28 Wild Card victory over the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This week, however, they face a tougher challenge against the number two defense in the NFL.
But I am going to list ten reasons as to why the Saints SHOULD beat the 49ers.
I’m not saying they will win, but as long as these following 10 theories fall into place, the Saints will move on to the NFC Championship game.
1) The 49ers have the worst redzone offense in the entire NFL
~ Many people have been admiring David Akers for his amazing kicking campaign in the 2011 season, and rightfully so. But the fact is the 49ers cannot score in the redzone, therefore presenting Akers with many oppurtunites. They did not score a red zone touchdown in the entire month of November. This displays lack of confidence in their quarterback, Alex Smith, to control the team’s offense when they are thereatening to score. This also shows the offensive line lacks the skill and strength to push the defense back for their Pro-Bowl running back, Frank Gore. By not converting drives into touchdowns, Akers will have to be brought out to kick more often. If anybody hasn’t noticed so far this season, you simply can’t beat the Saints with field goals.
2) The San Francisco offense is too one-dimensional
~ The 49ers have a fairly decent running game. They are ranked eighth in the NFL, two spots behind, you guessed it, the Saints. Frank Gore is talented, but is very injury prone. Hopefully the Saints can ding him up a little behind his purous offensive line. Speaking of which, the only reason why the 49ers are in the Top 10 in rushing is because Gore is so talented. He runs behind a mediocre rookie fullback who has never been the same since his November 20th concussion, and his offensive line cannot get a push when the defense crowds the middle of the box. Unofrtunately for San Fransisco, they can’t turn to a passing attack if the Saints stop the run. The 49ers have the 29th passing attack in the league, behind a mediocre quarterback. The only weapons they have to throw to is Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. Jabari Greer can easily cover Crabtree, because the onyl wideout that has proven he can beat Greer this year is Calvin Johnson, the All-Pro. By Roman Harper improving mightily in pass coverage along with the help of Malcolm Jenkins and some linebackers, Davis will not be a factor either. The 1st passing offense and 6th rushing offense, vs. the 29th passing offense and the 8th rushing offense. Clearly to the Saints advantage.
3) The new and improved Saints rushing defense will stop Gore
~ Many people have been raving about the 49ers amazing run defense this week. It’s true they are a dominant unit, so if you stop the Saints rushing attack, you get rewarded with the number 1 passing offense in the NFL. Congratulations. Ever since their late bye, the saints have been one of the best rushing defenses in the entire league. They have held the likes of Brandon Jacobs, Michael Turner twice, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, and Cam Newton, to all under 100 yards in each game. Gregg Williams and company have found a way to stop the run, and by elimnating the 49ers ground attack, San Fransisco has to rely on their 29th ranked passing offense. Good luck.
4) Saints offense has too many weapons for overrated 49ers defense
~ Let me say this first. I believe that the 49ers have the top two or three front seven units in the NFL. With that said, their secondary is highly vulnerable. Sean Payton obviously will have plans to keep Brees protected from the likes of Justin and Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, and the injured Patrick Willis. These 4 players are the only threat to the Saints offense. With Payton protecting Brees, how will the 49ers even attempt to cover the likes of Graham, Colston, Meachem and Sproles? They simply don’t have the personnel to do so. The Saints receivers are too fast, Sproles is too agile for their linebackers, and Graham hasn’t been shut down all year. The defense just can’t catch up. If the Steelers have the number one defense in the league and Tim Tebow just dropped 30 on them, what makes you think Drew Brees and his number one offense won’t light up San Fran?