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NFL Playoffs 2012: Key Stats for San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Jon SiddowayCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

When you think of the Saints led by Drew Brees, the monster stats jump out first. 

Deservedly so, as the quarterback has had a record-breaking season:

5,476 yards, 71 percent completion rate, 46 touchdowns and a 110.6 rating. 

But (pause for dramatic effect), lurking behind the impressive numbers are other stats that significantly improve the 49ers chance of upsetting the Saints. 

I'm not usually a stats guy, but these are hard to ignore. 

 

Superior, Inferior

Brees is having a superior season against mostly inferior opponents. Eleven of the Saints' 16 regular season games were against defenses ranked 21st or worse. 

Remember: The 49ers have arguably the best defense in the entire NFL.

 

Home Sweet Dome

The Saints are 9-0 at home this season, averaging 41.6 points and 507.4 yards per game, compared to 5-3 on the road with averages of 27.3 points and 441.6 yards. That's a two touchdown difference. 

Also, the Saints defense surrenders 24.5 points per road game. 

Remember: Saturday's NFC Divisional game will be played at Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Dashon Goldson #38 of the San Francisco 49ers intercepts a pass intended for Austin Pettis #18 of the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on December 4, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Saints have committed 12 of their 19 turnovers (65%) on the road. 

Remember: The 49ers lead the league with 38 forced turnovers, 23 of those while playing at home. 

Oh, and the New Orleans Saints have never won a single road playoff game in franchise history. Included in that is last year's stunning loss at the hands of a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks squad that had no business being in the postseason. 

The 2011-12 Saints are a great team, but are a different team when playing on the road. 

Have I mentioned the location of Saturday's game between the 49ers and Saints?

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