These 49ers are going to make things difficult for the Saints

San Francisco 49ers, Christian McCaffrey
San Francisco 49ers, Christian McCaffrey / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, a much stronger NFC West opponent than the one they beat this past Sunday.

The talent on San Francisco is almost overwhelming. The talent on the Saints, on the other hand, is either injured, underwhelming, or surrounded by a middling supporting cast.

Can the Saints come away with another dub in Week 12?

Here are the 49ers who the Saints have to keep an eye on.

Christian McCaffrey

The former first-rounder's healthy career speaks for itself. The CMC trade slingshotted the 49ers into the serious playoff contender category, and McCaffrey has already rewarded San Francisco with three fruitful performances in three starts.

As deadly on the ground as he is a pass-catcher, McCaffrey caught seven passes for 67 yards in the 49ers' win against the Cardinals last week. He failed to score a touchdown, but seeing that kind of production from a running back? Woof.

The Saints will need to find a solution to stop him early in the game.

Nick Bosa

Speaking of uber-talented first-round picks, pass-rusher Nick Bosa is bound to raise hell in Week 12. The two-time Pro Bowler has posted an incredible 26 sacks in his past two seasons.

Though the 49ers have suffered huge losses to their defense so far this year, Bosa remains as dominant as ever and ranks as a top-five pass-rusher in the league.

If NOLA rolls out with a combination of Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill at quarterback, as they did in Week 11, there's a good chance both will be sacked at least once this game.

The Saints' battered offensive line simply has no chance.

Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel's regression in 2022 isn't being talked about enough, yet the do-it-all wideout can still inflict damage on a vulnerable Saints' defense.

Samuel has recorded just four total touchdowns this season, two receiving and two rushing. He joins CMC as two of the most versatile players in the league and came off a particularly good receiving day in Week 11 with seven catches for 57 yards.

Saints fans may think they have a Swiss Army tool of their own in Taysom Hill, but Samuel outmatches Hill in every category from blazing speed to better pass-catching abilities to more consistent usage in the offensive scheme.

Kyle Shanahan has a boatload of weapons in his arsenal in 2022, and Samuel just might be his sharpest one.

Jimmy Garoppolo

When Jimmy Garoppolo plays well, the San Francisco 49ers DOMINATE. When he doesn't, the 49ers can still win.

The former happened in Week 11 as Jimmy G went off for 228 passing yards and four touchdowns, recording his second-highest quarterback rating in 2022. For all his flaws, Garoppolo gets a nod on this list because how well he plays could decide the result of this matchup.

His season with San Francisco has had its ups and downs with many still questioning whether Garoppolo is considered an elite quarterback.

One thing is almost for certain, though: the Saints need to pick him off.

In 2022, Garoppolo has had three games in which he threw one interception or more, and the 49ers ended up losing each of those games.

George Kittle

How could we not include Kittle on this list? He's already one of the best tight ends in the league but he'll likely be matched up with Tyrann Mathieu, who has been a poor tackler this season. That could end in disaster for the Saints.

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What version of Jimmy G will the Saints face in Week 12? We'll find out soon enough.