Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are coming off of a 45-28 point blowout win against the Detroit Lions. Now they will travel to Candlestick Park to face the San Fransisco 49ers, who are one of the most improved teams from 2010.
On Saturday, San Fransisco's luck will run out. The Saints bring much, much more to the table than the 49ers, and there are several key reasons why a Saints win is imminent this week:
The 49ers D can't stop the Saints O
The 49ers may boast the best run defense in the NFL, but I can guarantee that Drew Brees and the Saints aren't losing sleep over it. The Saints obviously don't rely on their ground game with Brees breaking Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season in week 16.
San Fransisco's passing defense was on average with only 23 picks while allowing 20 touchdowns and 230 yards per game average despite playing quarterbacks such as Tarvaris Jackson, Sam Bradford, and Kevin Kolb twice a year.
One can only imagine what Brees and crew will be able to do to this amateur passing defense.
Alex Smith is no Drew Brees
Obviously, when you try to compare Alex Smith and Drew Brees, there is simply no way to make it seem like they are even close to being on the same level. Unfortunately for San Fransisco, they will be going toe-to-toe on Saturday as the passing game is sure to take over each side's offensive game plan.
Who will win on Saturday?
The 49ers can try to manage the clock with their strong running game, but the Saints have one of the league's stronger run defenses. And, when Drew Brees starts running away with the score and the 49ers find themselves down late in the game, they will look to Smith to save them, and he won't be able to do it.
Frank Gore and David Akers have been the cornerstones of San Fransisco's offense all season, but they will not be as big in this game as they normally are. This game will not be won by having a solid ground game that controls the clock and kicking field goals. Unfortunately, that is how the 49ers win.
Drew Brees was so good last week the Saints didn't punt AT ALL. Not once. They put up 7 points on almost every drive and will almost surely shred San Fransisco's passing defense on Saturday.
If the 49ers want to win they will have to keep the ball in Alex Smith's hands and not run down the clock with Gore. It only takes one or two three-and-outs for the Saints to build a huge lead on the 49ers, and if they expect to keep up with New Orleans Frank Gore and David Akers won't be scoring as much as usual.
The 49ers had an incredible turn around this season under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, but unfortunately their luck has run out. The Saints match up exceptionally well against some of the 49ers big weaknesses and those will be exploited mercilessly on Saturday. Expect the Saints to win by at least 10 points.