Five Keys To A 49er Victory Against the Saints

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Five Keys To A 49er Victory Against the Saints
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Some old NFC West friends get together this week in a marquee Monday Night football matchup in San Francisco when the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints come calling to Candlestick in Week 2. For those familiar with the old division alignment, some of the very best challenges for the Niners within the division came from the New Orleans Saints and their "Dome Patrol" linebacking corps.

The 2010 season was one of great expectations for a San Francisco 49er team who looked markedly improved on many levels and looked to be turning the corner after a impressive preseason. This entire offseason had experts, fans, and pundits jumping on the bandwagon leading up to the first week in Seattle faster than you can say "Top Pot doughnut".

The Niners limp into their home opener after being throughly embarrassed on the road against a seemingly undermatched Seahawks squad. The Seahawks looked prepared and ready and despite a close game at halftime, simply pulled away from the Niners as the Niners did a horrible job in execution and looked like a team that just wanted to go home after the midway point of the third period until the final buzzer.

Niner fans are learning how quickly the bandwagon can empty after just one week, it will be up to the coaching staff to circle their wagons leading up to their home opener.

The Saints come off a Week 1 victory over the outmanned Minnesota Vikings team, who were missing a few key contributors in the secondary and looked disjointed and out of sync the entire game. The Vikings' normally stout run defense sprang leak after leak as Pierre Thomas ground the clock out on the NFC Champion runner ups from a year ago. Brett Favre looked rusty and out of sync with his receivers.  With Sidney Rice out, the best option of the day was Greg Camarillo who was signed a week before the opener from the Dolphins.

Most experts have the Saints pegged as double digit favorites, and although the chances are against them, I happen to think the Niners stand a good chance of playing very well against the Saints. Here now are my five keys to the game and arguments for and against.

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