New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers: 10 Bold Showdown Predictions

Bailey Brautigan@BBrautiganFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2010

New Orleans Saints Vs. San Francisco 49ers: 10 Bold Showdown Predictions

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    The New Orleans Saints will travel to San Francisco tonight to take on the 49ers on Monday Night Football, and fans on both sides will be hoping for better performances than last week.

    The Saints are the reigning Super Bowl champs, but they didn't exactly blow out the Vikings last week, and the 49ers...

    Well, let's just say that they have some catching up to do.

    Tonight marks a new game and a new week for both of these teams, and anything is possible.

    Here are 10 bold predictions for this week's edition of Monday Night Football.

10. The 49ers Will Play Better Than Last Week

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    San Francisco has nowhere to go but up this week, and we can expect it to have a better performance than it did against the Seahawks.

    Never underestimate the impact of negative media. The 49ers need to bounce back from last week, and they will.

9. But So Will the Saints

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    We didn't see the Saints that we've grown accustomed to watching last week against Minnesota, as the Vikings held their own in a close, relatively low-scoring game in New Orleans.

    Well, this week we will see the explosive Drew Brees offense that we're used to, as the Saints return to face their former NFC West rivals.

8. Special Teams

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    This game could be closer than we think, and it will be up to special teams on both sides of the ball to get the edge against the other.

    Sure, offense scores points, but a great performance on special teams will make sure that those points go unanswered.

    Who has the better special teams?

    With the 49ers falling apart on return coverage, we have to give this one to the Saints.

7. 49ers Secondary

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    A strong secondary is crucial in shutting down the Saints' offense, but matchup issues with the 49ers secondary will leave Drew Brees with too many options.

    Brees has so many weapons in his arsenal that the 49ers won't be able to keep up.

6. Saints Maintain Possession

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    Tonight, expect the Saints to dominate the time of possession against the 49ers.

    Once the Saints start driving, it will be extremely difficult for the 49ers to get the ball and hold onto it. San Francisco needs to score early and create some padding on the scoreboard in order to stand a chance at staying up on the Saints.

5. Alex Smith Is Better But Still Not Great

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    Alex Smith didn't look so hot against the Seahawks last week, throwing two interceptions and working with a weak receiving corps.

    And that was against Seattle.

    The Saints defensive line will put all kinds of pressure on the quarterback, and Smith might be more accurate this game.

    But he will also find himself making friends with the ground.

4. Frank Gore Will Save the 49ers

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    Frank Gore just might be the savior of the San Francisco 49ers this week.

    New Orleans had trouble containing Adrian Peterson when they took on the Vikings, and this running back may be able to follow in his footsteps.

    With limited receiving options, expect Gore to get more looks during this game, and expect him to produce.

3. Bush Makes California Miss Him

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    San Francisco is not USC, but it will be close enough for Reggie Bush.

    Heisman or no Heisman, expect Bush to have a great game against the 49ers as he uses the off-field drama as motivation.

2. Mike Singletary Will Put His Foot in His Mouth

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    Mike Singletary is one of my favorite coaches of all time, and I understand having confidence in your team.

    However, making the claim that the 49ers "will contain Drew Brees" is a pretty bold statement.

    The 49ers will be better this game, but stopping this Super Bowl MVP will be no easy task.

1. Saints Over 49ers

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    Even though the 49ers will show great improvement this week, they will prove to be no match for the Saints.

    Still, this game will be far from a blowout.

    The 49ers have home field advantage, and they will not want to start the season 0-2.

    But after a loss to the Seahawks, I can't pick them against the Saints

    Predicted Score: Saints 35, 49ers 24