So, I haven't been on the 'zone much this week because I've been all over the Saints boards. It's really quite entertaining. I left the smack talk out (as much as I could....altho when someone called Delanie Walker a wuss for not playing with a broken jaw when Rickey Jackson did, I had to remind them that Rickey had to go to a real team to get a ring). I did pick up a number of things and I have to say the level of confidense is ASTOUNDING. I mean, seriously, it's insane.
A few of the things I heard...
"49ers pass D sucks!!!"
"49ers haven't played any good QBs and the OK ones they did play torched them"
"Saints will have NO PROBLEM running the ball"
"Pierre Thomas looks like Walter Payton"
"Reggie beat Willis on that TD pass last year...no way he can stay with Sproles"
"Sick of this #1 D talk, they aren't even good"
"Texans have a MUCH better D and we beat the crap out of them"
"We get no respect!! Media all over the 49ers!!" (Seriously?....Home dogs in the divisional round? Are you on drugs?)
"We handled Allen and Mario Williams....Aldon is nothing compared to them"
"You have never seen an O like this" (uh...vice versa true as well homey)
"We have 3 Pro Bowl Linemen...you won't get pressure and we'll run all day" (So? We have 3 All-Pros and a DROY candidate in the front 7. Next)
I could go on for days on this one.
Anyway...here are my thoughts should anyone remotely care. Many of these are probably "Duh" points.
1) Pressure: Pressure up the middle and on the edges. Need to get there with 4. Aldon has to graduate in this game and be a big boy. We're counting on him. We need inside push as well from Justin and Ray. They probably won't get many sacks, but if Drew has all day back there, Niners are toast.
2) Stop the Run: Duh. Much more of the Saints O is based on the run than peeps think. They also run ALOT of Draws and Screens. A pair of really fast, disciplined, good-tackling ILBs should be able to shut that down....and thats HUGE. The Saints are one of the biggest screen teams in the NFL. If Willis and Bowman can sniff those out, it'll be HUGE.
3) Pass Yards: Drew is gonna get his yards. No doubt. Yards don't always mean points, especially against our...pardon the old reference.....our scarlet heroes of yore. Those guys really see Drew as unstoppable. He's superman. The question is always "How are the 49ers going to score 30 to keep up"? The idea of a D slowing them down is a completely foreign concept. "What if YOU don't score 30?" I'd say. No response. Niners score 27 at home and allow 10. I guess the guys on the other side of the field don't count....only Breesus counts.
4) Safeties: We need Goldson and Whitner to eat their Wheaties. Thye need to let that front 7 take care of the run and don't get sucked up in play action. If they take one step forward, they are done. They need to hold their positions and give the CBs the suppor they need. They need to force Brees to hold the ball to let the rush get to him.
5) Offense Gameplan: Whatever you got that we haven't seen? Bring it out NOW. Don't save it for GB if we advance. Niners have shut down the creativity since the NFC West was won. They have been very vanilla on O when early on there was somehting new every week.
6) Frank: Frank, PLEASE be healthy. We need ya man.
7) Vernon: Catch.the.ball. Can't stress this enough. Keep.feet.inbounds. He's gonna get some shots down the field against those DBs. He has to take advantage.
8) Crab: Just keep doin' what your doin'. That's what we need.
9) Vic: Stay with what's been working all year. Don't go blitz crazy even if you get carved up early. As soon as you feel the need to get outside your norm, thse big plays are gonna come in bunches. Be patient.
10) Alex: Dude, just play like these are the Rams in October. Ain't nothign to this. If the Niners execute there is no reason they can't light up the scorebaord like they did against Tampa. The slant will return. Expect to see the screen. Expect RB counters with Alex lead blocking. Expect a fake on the fly sweep. Expect play action from the one to a wide open Michael Crabtree.
Out. See ya Sat. ;-)
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Jan 12, 2012 at 6:11 PM ]