Originally posted by Ninerman49:
We are the worst in the league when it comes to big plays. Even if we stop the saints a decent amount of times I still see them scoring around 28 points. Do you think our offense could put up that much in return? Do you think we will see alex finally taking more shots downfield?
The truth is. I feel we will be in a position where drew brees willl have the ball with 1:30 left and a chance to win it like last time... :(
The 49ers have a GREAT chance at winning this game, and here's why...
the Saints average 27 pts per game on the road. 25 ppg on grass.
the 49ers average 27 pts per game at Candlestick.
the Saints D gives up an avg of 25 ppg on the road.
the 49ers D gives up an avg of 11 ppg at Candlestick.
So, if the Saints score 25 ppg outside, and Niners give up 11 ppg at the Stick, its reasonable to expect the Saints could be held to around 18 pts.
And, if the 49ers score 27 ppg at the Stick, and the Saints D gives up 25 ppg away from home, its reasonable to expect the 49ers could score around 26.
The Saints already have proven that they dont score all that much on grass. 25 pts per game for the supposed "greatest show on turf part II" isnt all that scary. now couple that with having to face an elite defense, which allows under 11 ppg at home, which is about what the greatest ppg defense in NFL history averaged over a full season in 2000 (Ravens). the 49ers have given up a garbage time TD that went through the DB's hands, shutout the Rams, and then gave up 3 pts to the Steelers on MNF. thats the last 3 games at Candlestick.
Something tells me the Saints arent going to be scoring 35+ like everyone in America seems willing to put money on. The Saints also havent beaten many good teams this year. they beat the Giants and Lions. so did we. they beat the Texans, which is about the extent of it. meanwhile, they faced bottom 10 ppg defenses NINE TIMES this season. they faced the cream of the crop when it came to crappy D's. Brees is incredible, and if we were in that dome, id have little hope. but, lets see the big, bad Saints offense on real grass, outside, where real football is played, and against a legit defense.
I see us taking away the Saints running game, as we usually do. the success of the run game was the key to the Saints passing successes this season. take that away, and ill take my chances against a one-dimensional football team. now use Justin Smith to occupy Carl Nicks and Jermon Bushrod. Smith is just the kind of player that can create that distraction. let the pass rush take advantage of this, and blitz Brees heavily up the middle. Like Tom Brady, when you get to Brees up the middle, he loses the pocket he loves to step into, and has to move around. Hes not that great outside the pocket.
we have a great team of LB that can occupy the short passing game, and if the pass rush is working, the guys who stretch the field will be kept in check. we kept Calvin Johnson in front of us all game, and he never burned us.
If this can be established, the Saints will begin to panic. the offense that had been running so smoothly for 9 weeks will hit a bump, and if were lucky, theyll try and change strategy. we just need to knock them off the tracks a bit. im not worried about the offense. ever since AZ made our OL look awful, they really made some changes. the last 3 games against PIT, SEA, and STL, the OL has protected Smith well, especially against the blitz.
our edge will be ST. we are able to score pts on most every trip into FG range, and Lee is responsible for the worst opponent starting position in the NFL. if they spend the game starting back behind the 20 on average, and we spend the game more towards the 30, thats a big advantage.
I see a close, defensive game, a style the Saints arent used to playing in. the Niners live in this environment. were at home, were on national TV, we always play well in these scenarios, and the Saints are going to be in totally foreign territory. being out west in a defensive game, outside on grass, etc. it just seems like we have enough advantages to have a legit chance to win. all the "experts" clearly arent doing their jobs if they cant envision a scenario where the Niners have a chance.
I like us to win in a 24-17 type of game. this wont be a 42-35, all-TD style game the Saints are used to.
I wish this game would get here already. im so sick of waiting. this feels like waiting for Christmas used to as a kid, except theres a bit of worried anxiety involved.
[ Edited by Niners99 on Jan 12, 2012 at 00:54:48 ]