All joking aside, though, the Saints are fully aware that this will be their most daunting test since their Week 1 trip to Green Bay.They’ll have to deal with the ever-present swirling winds at Candlestick. They’ll be up against a hostile crowd on hand for the 49ers’ first playoff game in nine years. And most important, they’ll be facing the best defense in the NFC, if not the entire NFL.
However, the player who makes the Saints’ offense click is multifaceted running back Darren Sproles, who set an NFL record for all-purpose yards this season. Sproles has averaged 6.9 yards per rush and caught 90 passes so far. Teams have to be wary of him as a runner, yet keep an eye on him at all times in the passing game. The Saints are viewed as a pass-heavy offense. However, they finished sixth in the league in rushing, with Sproles, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas providing three legitimate options.
It looks as if the New Orleans Saints will be in the market for a new defensive coordinator when their season comes to an end as Sports Illustrated’s Peter King expects Gregg Williams to follow Jeff Fisher to the St. Louis Rams.
Drew Brees piled up points, yards and accolades in a record-setting season for the New Orleans Saints. Much of the time, Alex Smith did just enough to get the San Francisco 49ers back in the playoffs for the first time in nine years while a dominant defense and kicking game did the rest. Everybody is curious to see which of the contrasting styles works best in a classic playoff matchup.Does that old notion that defense wins championships still hold up these days? “We’re going to find out,” 49ers punter Andy Lee said.
An illustrated look at how Drew Brees and the 14-3 New Orleans Saints’ top five offensive playmakers performed during their 45-28 playoff victory over the Detroit Lions last Saturday. Players are ranked by total yards (rushing and receiving) so far this postseason. Does not include yardage or touchdowns on special teams.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will square off against Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday afternoon at Candlestick Park.
Topics: 2012 NFC Divisional Round, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Kromer, Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Calvin Johnson, Dennis Allen, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Gregg Williams, Hurricane Katrina, Jabari Greer, Jeff Fisher, Jim Haslett, Justin Smith, Lance Moore, Matchup, Matthew Stafford, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Mickey Loomis, NaVorro Bowman, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Saints 2005 Season, NFC, NFC Divisional Round, NFL, Patrick Willis, Rick Reiprish, San Francisco 49′ers, Sean Payton, St. Louis Rams, Tom Benson