New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
January 14, 2011
This is my favorite game this week. The red, hot New Orleans Saints roll into San Francisco looking for a spot in the NFC championship game. New Orleans is a 3.5 point favorite on the road, this due in large part to Drew Brees and his spicy offence. Nobody puts up more points than the Saints. Their defense isn’t anything to shake a stick at either. Although they get over-shadowed, the D can hold it’s own. They follow the “bend but not break” mantra. They do give up some points here and there, but they have a habit of stepping up in the 4th quarter. This is all they have to do to win. Brees will keep them in it offensively, and they play the role as the closer.
San Francisco is quite the opposite. Their main focal point is the defense, lead by Patrick Willis. Like Willis, their defense is big, scary and super intimidating. Their offense is isn’t “horrible”, but it’s not anything great. Alex Smith is a little more inconsistent than the average playoff quarterback. Because of this, the 49ers rely heavily on Frank Gore and the running game. Gore has the ability to eat the clock and keep opposing offenses off the field.
So, what will happen when the best offense meets the best defense? Drew Brees will play a dominant game no matter who’s defending him. The Saints will put up points. Will Alex Smith step up and go toe to toe with Drew Brees?? … No. Unfortunately, the 49ers will fall short. The game will be close until late in the 3rd quarter when the Saints pull away. However, there will be enough points put up to take the Over.
Prediction: Saints 34 – 49ers 24