Keys to the Game: 49ers vs. Saints

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Special Teams

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) against the Dallas Cowboys prior to a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent, Garrett Hartley remains the kicker for the New Orleans Saints. Veterans Neil Rackers & Shayne Graham were one of several kickers brought in this week to workout with the Saints.

“This is my sixth year now. It’s not my first rodeo. It’s not my first time down this path. It’s going to work every day. Keep doing what I’ve been doing. My leg feels great. I’m striking a clean ball. Bouncing back, even after a game like [last Sunday’s, when he missed from 37 yards], when obviously I didn’t strike the ball well and I know why. It’s a simple fix. Back to work and get ready for Sunday.” -Garrett Hartley

On a positive Special Teams note, Thomas Morstead punted just once last week. We’d gladly love for Morstead to not show up at all, unless it’s a kickoff.

What To Watch For: The Saints inside that area of the field where they could potentially try a long field goal, punt inside the 20, or just go for it. We’ve seen Hartley boot through 50+ yarders with ease, but depending how Payton decides to proceed will speak volumes about Hartley & the defense.

I still feel that Darren Sproles kick return coming.

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