This is a game where it appears that the 49ers are overmatched. But the longer I look at it, the more I come to believe that this is a game in which the competitiveness of Jim Harbaugh will come to full bloom.
The Saints, averaging 569 yards of offense in their last three games, have been scary good of late. Quarterback Drew Brees set the all-time mark for passing yards in a season and the weapons — Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas — are plentiful. This is a team that can score and score often. “Fast-break football,” it’s called.
And that right there suggests that Harbaugh will use every tactic in his arsenal to take away that facet of the Saints. Just like a basketball coach who knows the opposing team’s best player likes to go to his right, Harbaugh wants to make the Saints go left.
When facing an opponent that is playing with great confidence and efficiency, the first thing to do is take away that feeling of comfort.
With Harbaugh, there’s nothing to lose. The season has been an unparalleled success but the 49ers are playing the hottest team in the league. New Orleans is favored. That’s why the 49ers and their tough defense will do everything they can to increase the discomfort of the Saints, and in that light here are the five reasons why the 49ers will prevail over them on Saturday.