Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

5 Keys to a 49ers Win Over the Saints

Nov 26, 2022 at 11:22 AM--

"Oh, When the Saints go, Marching In" is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the New Orleans Saints, and on Sunday, they will be marching into Levi's Stadium to face the red-hot San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have won their last three matchups and are looking to go on a four-game win streak. If the 49ers want to improve to 7-4 and remain at the top of the NFC West, they must stick to these Five Keys to Victory.

RUN the Ball

The Saints are ranked 23rd in stopping the run, giving up, on average, 132.1 yards per game. The 49ers are ranked 12th averaging 127.2 yards per game. On September 25, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, then with the Carolina Panthers, rushed for 108 yards on 25 carries and averaged 4.3 yards per carry against the Saints defense. The 49ers could add a heavy dose of inside/outside zone runs with their running backs, McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell. Expect the 49ers to have 140-or-more rushing yards against the Saints.


Expect 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to use short throws early to establish a rhythm. Whether it is screen plays to Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey or check-down throws to McCaffrey, Garoppolo must do what he's great at and quickly get the ball out of his hand. The Saints expect cornerback Marcus Williams back in the lineup on Sunday. Garoppolo should take advantage of what the defense gives him. If Garoppolo gets the ball out quickly, the 49ers will continue to move the chains.

LIMIT the Pressures

The Saints have a pair of edge rushers—Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport—with a combined six sacks. Jordan is their best pass rusher, so expect him to line up on the right side of the line. McGlinchey will need to perform his best against Jordan. In 2020, McGlinchey gave up zero sacks to Jordan and Davenport. If McGlinchey can hold the right tackle position down without any help, this can give Garoppolo another weapon to use in the passing game.

STOP Alvin Kamara

Alvin Kamara is on the injury report due to an illness, but expect him to play on Sunday against the 49ers. The Saints are ranked 15th in rushing yards per game, averaging 117.7 yards per game. Last week against the Rams, Kamara ran for 42 yards on 12 attempts. What makes Kamara dangerous is his ability to catch the ball as a receiver. He has 43 receptions for 385 yards and averages nine yards per catch, with two touchdowns this season. The 49ers must not let Kamara ignite the Saints' offense. If the 49ers fail to stop Kamara, it will be a long day for the team in red and gold.


The Saints have many playmakers on the offensive side. Rookie receiver Chris Olive has 51 receptions for 760 yards and three touchdowns this season. Kamara is another dangerous weapon in the backfield and the receiving game. The Saints have what I like to call a "Jokers Wild" in tight end Taysom Hill. Hill's stats are a bit deceptive, but he plays multiple roles for the team. He can run the ball, catch, and throw as well. What makes Hill dangerous is his big-play ability. San Francisco needs to eliminate Hill by any means necessary. Against the Rams, Hill ran for 52 yards. The 49ers must pay close attention to how the Saints utilize Hill in this game. If the team finds a way to eliminate Hill's big-play ability, they will find themselves on the winning side of the football.

In conclusion...

This will not be an easy game for the 49ers. Games against the Saints, a former NFC West rival, are usually tough and close. Expect the 49ers' offense to start slow but pick up as the game progresses. The defense has the most work to do. If it bends but doesn't break, San Francisco will continue their win streak and improve to 7-4.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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