Originally posted by SouthernComfort:
Well, guess I get to rep as the only Saints fan on this thread! I think they call this trolling, but I'm no troll! First of CONGRATS to SF fans for a great season and the 2nd seed! Kept asking my San Fran peeps to let me have that 2nd seed, but Steelers or Seahawks couldn't get it done. I thought SF was going to have this type of season last year, but had to get the coaching thing down first I suppose!
These stats are what keep a Saints' fan up at night. So my question is based on these numbers if we get a win think the Saints will earn respect going into the NFC Championship game? If not, then post why.
Welcome aboard. It has been really fun watching my 49ers this year. I have been watching the Saints as well because of the way Brees was passing; I knew he would break Marino's record.
Here is my opinion on the game. I am a 49er fan and I can not shield all of my bias but I will give it my best shot.
After watching the game last night, it is obvious that if the 49ers do not get pressure on Brees, we lose this game. The only way to get pressure on Brees will be to do in in the middle. We can not allow him to sit back and then move up into the middle of the pocket and throw the long ball. That being said, I think we have the defense to do it.
For the Saints to win:
1. The Saints must be able to run the ball. If they can establish the run and get at least 3.5-4.0 ypc, they will be able to use the play action.
2. Throw against Terrell Brown, he is the weakest link on the 49ers defense. Find ways to get Colston matched up on Brown.
3. In the red zone, disguise Jimmy Graham, roll him out and get him on the perimeter vs our CB. This will work if the running game is working like I stated #1.
1. Stop the run. This is obvious. If the Saints can stop the run they have a better chance of making the 49ers one dimensional.
2. Overload rush/blitz the right side of the 49ers OLine. If Vernon Davis is in to pass block on the right side of the line, make sure you have someone to go with him if he leaks out.
3. Get pressure on Alex Smith. Smith is vulnerable once pressure starts to get to him.
For the 49ers to win:
1. Establish the run. This will also be the best defensive strategy for the 49ers because this will eat up the clock and keep Brees on the sideline.
2. Get Vernon Davis involved in the passing game early and often. We are injured and thin at WR. We have not utilized Davis in the passing game for a while and he will be needed to keep pace with the Saints if our defense can't slow him down.
3. Recognize and beat the blitz. Easier said than done as Gregg Williams has very complicated blitz packages. The 49ers struggled with the screen pass, both executing and defending it. This year they have been getting better at both. Hunter is our secret weapon here. Get the ball to Hunter in the screen on key blitz packages and the 49ers will be able to slow down the rush.
1. Get pressure on Brees in the middle. Brees will get the ball out too quickly to try to get pressure on the outside. The Saints will be expecting the Smith and Smith stunt, I expect Fangio to find new creative ways to get pressure on Brees.
2. Disrupt the routes of Colston and Graham. Do not let them get a clean break.
3. Defend the screen pass to Sproles.
That all being said, this match up is a scary one. Any 49er fan who says otherwise is just kidding themself. Likewise, any Saints fan who think this game will be anything but a brawl where points come at a premium is also kidding themself.
I wont predict a 49ers win but I will be at the game rooting my butt off! Loud on Defense, quiet on offense!
This is going to be a good game.