NFC Game Of The Week
49ers (4-4) at Saints (4-4)
49ers: They have been a surprise this year and not in a good way. They’re in third place right now in their division and they have a lot of issues as a football team. The 49ers got to three straight NFC Title games and they did so by playing physical, smash mouth defense and running the football. Even without their best defensive player in Aldon Smith, the 49ers defense has held their own. I wouldn’t say they’ve been great this year but they’ve definitely improved over the season. The issues are on offense, especially that offensive line. Kaep was sacked eight times last Sunday against the Rams. They are also getting away from their identity and that’s establishing Frank Gore. When the 49ers have the physicality factor in the favor, they are impossible to beat. A win on Sunday would really help the 49ers cause, especially in a very competitive NFC.
Saints: They’ve had their issues this year. The offensive line had such a tough time protecting Brees and he had no time to get the ball down the field and the defense had an issues with the lack of tackling. These last two games, I’ve seen an improvement. The Saints have established Mark Ingram, they get Jimmy involved early and the defense is getting pressure on the quarterback. The win against Green Bay two weeks ago saved their season because if they had lost that, they would’ve been sitting at 2-5 and in a big hole. They would next win against Carolina on the road. I definitely think they’re starting to click more as a team. It’s another big game on Sunday with a powerhouse coming to town.
Prediction: None of us expected the 49ers or Saints to be in this position. The key for the 49ers is to keep Brees in the pocket and double Jimmy Graham down the field. For the Saints, balance is key. Run Mark Ingram and pressure Kaepernick. Put this game in his hands. I like the Saints in this one. Saints 28 49ers 17.