Bottom line is, the 49ers don't have the experience and pure talent to rival the Saints.
The Saints have so many weapons on offense it's scary. They have a three-headed running attack in Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. They have a thousand options at receiver, from Marques Colston to Jimmy Graham, and they have a legendary quarterback in the unstoppable Drew Brees.
Yes, the 49ers do have a few nice pieces on offense, Alex Smith does what he can to get by, Vernon Davis is a reliable guy, Frank Gore is a game-changer, but they lack the firepower the Saints possess.
Defensively, the 49ers do have the upper hand over the Saints, but if the Saints get average performances every week out of their defense, their offense will win games.
Then there's experience. The Saints are a bunch of veterans in their prime that have been there and done that—they can handle the spotlight. We have yet to see that out of Alex Smith.