49ers Key To Stopping The Saints; Contain Reggie Bush

Jack MeoffCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2008

NEW ORLEANS-Reggie Bush scored four times, three times on the ground and once through the air while amassing 168 all purpose yards during the Saints convincing 31-10 drubbing of the 49ers on Sunday...

Fast forward to today. Reggie Bush, in his third year, comes into week four finally looking like he's going to fulfill that potential he's had hanging around his neck since he's SC days, long before he was even drafted.

He comes in after three weeks third in yards from scrimmage and tied for fifth in touchdowns, and this week he plays, at home, the team against whom he had his best day as a pro.

Allot of the pundits seem to think that Bush is in for a big week, but this isn't the same 49er defense he faced two years ago. This is a 49er defense that retains only two starters (Walt Harris, Manny Lawson) from that 2006 squad, which looked more like a PAC-10 squad then what he's faced in the NFL.

The betting public isn't enamored with the Saints either. They opened the week as six point favorites. By Saturday the line has come down to four. Two points is a long way for a line to shift.

With Marques Colston sidelined Bush has been their top weapon. Coach Sean Payton likes to line him up all over the field. This is really the best way to utilize him, as he doesn’t fulfill the roll of a traditional half back effectively. Look for coordinator Greg Manusky to get creative, maybe by having Patrick Willis Shadow him all over the field, or pulling Nate Clements in from his spot on the outside to pick Bush up when he lines up wide.

Outside of Bush and the injured Colston, the Saints don’t have any other world class talents at the offensive skill positions. With their porous defense, and their numerous injuries throughout the roster, the 49ers are looking at an excellent opportunity to improve their record to 3-1, stealing a game few thought they had a chance to win coming into the season.

It all starts by stopping Mr. Bush.

Photo courtesy Getty images.