Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/16/14
Saints-quarterback-drew
A familiar foe in the San Francisco 49ers (6-3) will come into the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints (7-2)in what figures to be the game of the weekend in the NFC. The Saints are coming off one of the more dominating performances the NFL has seen this season in their win over the Cowboys. The 49ers have been a thorn in the side of the Saints after knocking them out of the 2011 playoffs and defeating them last season. The Saints look to put that behind them and get over the 49er hump this weekend. Here are some keys to the game. 1) Drew Brees Obviously Drew Brees is the key to success every game, but against the 49ers last season he had one of his more forgettable games gifting the 49ers not one, but 2 pick sixes. This was especially huge in a game in which they only lost by 10 points. What Brees needs to understand is that the Nines are going to stop them sometimes and he will have to be patient. Also, he must realize that the offense on the other side is dead last in the league in passing. With that stat, it doesn’t hurt to punt the ball and make them drive the field for points. However, if Brees gets impatient and starts forcing throws, the ball will be turned over and the job of the inept 49ers offense is made a lot easier. So, Drew, if you happen to be reading this, there is no shame in throwing it away, taking sacks and checking it down; just don’t turn the ball over. 2) Containing Kaepernick and the running game As mentioned earlier, the 49ers are dead last in passing. With that being said, one can expect that they will be relying heavily on the running game.Frank Gore is the bell cow and will be leaned on so that the Saints’ offense stays on the sideline. It will be interesting to see if Rob Ryan decides to abandon his nickel defense and get into a personnel package that is better fit for stopping the run. It might behoove him to make this move with Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Jenkins possibly sidelined, and because the Kaepernick hasn’t proven that he can beat a team with his arm consistently. However, even more important than stopping Gore will be keeping Kaepernick in the pocket. The 49ers’ wide receivers aren’t too scary, but if Kaepernick can run around and improvise they may be able to make some plays. It will be up to Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette to keep Kaepernick in the pocket and force him to beat the Saints with his arm. 3) The Saints’ running game The Saints’ ground game went berserk last week rushing for over 200 yards including a 145 yard effort from 1st round disappointment Mark Ingram. The Saints will look to continue that success this week. However, don’t expect a huge performance against one of the best run defenses in the league. The 49ers are as stingy as it comes, but it is important to realize that the important thing is not production, but attempts. Even if they are only gaining 1-3 yards a carry, it is important to have the defense know that we are willing to run. Consider the run game a success if they are able to gain about 80 yards; but more importantly, if the Saints are able to crank out 20-30 carries,  they will achieve the balance they need to move the ball and keep the 49ers defense honest. Once again, attempts, not production will the key. If Sean Payton stays patient, the Saints will have a great chance. 4) X Factor: Garrett Hartley Seriously, what the hell is wrong with his guy? The past three games he has missed kick after kick, including multiple chip shots. The 49ers defense is no joke and will hold the Saints to field goals, and it will be important for Hartley to convert. If he doesn’t get his act together the Saints may have to change their game plan; this can be anything from going for it on 4th down when in field goal range to punting when in no man’s land. If he doesn’t make his kicks, he might be kicked to the curb after this week.  
PLAYERS: Drew Brees
TEAMS: New Orleans Saints
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears' locker room after loss

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

LenDale White goes off on USC AD after being escorted out

Saints News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

N.J. gov signs sports betting bill into law

WATCH: Tulane QB Nick Montana spikes ball on 4th down

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.