Round Two of the playoffs begin Saturday at 4:30pm with the Saints vs. 49ers. In many ways, the second round could also end, at least for me, with that game. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll watch the other matchups this weekend. As much as I dislike the Patriots, I want them to beat the Broncos. And I’m expecting a good game between the Giants and Packers. However, I really have no vested interest in those teams like I do with the Saints.

I’m definitely more worried about this game than last week versus the Lions. The 49ers have a great defense that I expect to test New Orleans. San Francisco also doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and unlike the Lions, they have a strong running game. And, let’s not forget the argument that many of the sports writers are touting…the Saints have never won a road playoff game.

I will admit New Orleans is better at home. But let’s be honest, it took the Saints decades to win a playoff game period. The road game argument doesn’t mean much to me. Playing outdoors does…

Here are my thoughts on what the Saints need to do:
- Score early – I know this is easier said than done, but the Saints looked like a completely different team in the second half last week. They can’t afford to get behind or off to a slow start against the 49ers since San Francisco is all about clock management and will plan on doing everything they can to keep Brees off the field.
- Run the Ball – The running game looked great last week and although their passing game is insane, the Saints finished the season as the 6th best rushing team. That’s two spots above the 49ers who are being talked about as a team that can better control the line of scrimmage. I know the 49ers have a better run defense than pass defense, but I think it is important for the Saints to stay balanced.
- Cut down on the mistakes – The 49ers do a good job protecting the ball and until last week, the Saints only had 6 lost fumbles on the season (I think?). However, Brees will sometimes force a pass into a tight space. He’s usually good for 2-3 of those a game. I’m not saying to play conservative, but unless the Saints are playing from behind, I see no reason to go crazy with throwing into double coverage. Turnovers which usually happen through INTs for the Saints will be key.
- Don’t stop blitzing – Thankfully, Williams won’t change his scheme for anyone. This week it should pay off. Alex Smith has definitely improved as a quarterback, but he’s still young and can be rattled.

This game can go either way, but I’m still picking the Saints for the win.

Saints – 30, 49ers – 24

And just for fun,here’s my predictions for the other games.
Patriots – 38, Broncos – 20
Ravens – 21, Texans– 17
Packers – 34, Giants - 28


5 Responses so far.

  1. #wegotthis says:

    As long as the 49ers don't INTENTIONALLY wet the field down(which is a real possibility), we will be fine.

    The 49ers are only averaging 24 points a game. We were only held under 24 four times ALL season, & we won 2 of those ANYWAY. We average more than 24 points a game JUST IN THE GAMES WE PLAYED OUTSIDE.

    We held Adrian Peterson, michael turner, Chris Johnson, maurice jones drew, & Matt forte ALL UNDER 90 yards rushing, several of them @ half that.... What up Chris!!
    Frank gore is only AVERAGING 74 yards a game anyway.

    Alex smith is averaging less than 190 yards passing a game & has only thrown 17 td passes ALL YEAR. I won't embarrass him by listing Drew's stats.

    Is anyone REALLY going to take him over brees?, Vernon Davis over graham, Crabtree over Colston?, gore over sproles/Thomas/ivory..?, ANYONE against this offense?.... Really?

    There has NEVER.... AND THE ROCK MEAN'S NEVER!!!!!! been an offense like this....ever.


  2. #wegotthis says:

    It is so frustrating, when you KNOW at the beginning of the year, that you don't have enough defense to go all the way.... then they spend 4 months making you forget that you don't have enough defense to go all the way...then they spend 55 MINUTES out of an hour, making you think,"maybe we DO have enough defense to go all the way".... then in THE LAST 2 MINUTES... they remind you that......YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH DEFENSE TO GO ALL THE WAY!....

    I hope Gregg Williams enjoys his new job screwing up the St Louis rams... & I hope his replacement understands the need for impact players on defense.

    Good year guys..... Next year, assuming we put a little effort into player acquisitions.... Let me be the first to say:

  3. The defense has been the weak spot all year and although they gave up some points at the end (mainly because they don't have anyone who can cover Davis), offense and special teams lost that game. The 5 turnovers put the defense in really bad positions early in the game.

    I really wish I would have watched that game with no vested interest in either team...I would have actually enjoyed it. ugh.

  4. #wegotthis says:

    Well at least I got to enjoy watching Rodgers get romped. I hope they engrave his QBR from the giants game on his MVP.

    I knew we weren't going to LAMBEAU... Turned out in more ways than one.

    Next year#wegotthis

  5. Mike says:

    That Saints game was PAINFUL to watch. Those last two minutes... gruesome. I can't believe that crap. I thought we had it, but nope.

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