Found November 24, 2012 on
The Saints Nation:
New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers
In a rematch with the team that eliminated the Saints from the 2011 postseason, the Saints will this time host an incredibly good 49ers team in what figures to be a game between two hot teams. The Saints will without question need their very best to have any chance at being successful against an opponent that is complete in every facet of the game. The 49ers have very few weaknesses so this will not be easy, but I also have a feeling the Saints will come out ready for this one to play their best football of the season. Here's the five things I'm looking for in this game:
1. Will the Saints slow down the 49ers rushing attack?
This game pitts the 32nd run defense in the NFL against the #1 rushing attack in yards per game. That's right, the very best in the entire league running against the absolute worst defending it. That doesn't bode well. The offensive line of the 49ers is arguably the best in the league, and Frank Gore is a very good back behind them. The 49ers also top the league in yards per carry (5.5) and the Saints are second to last in yards per carry given up (5.1). So the 49ers should be able to line up in run formations and shove the ball repeatedly down the Saints' throats. This type of game is the reason the Saints invested so much in Broderick Bunkley and Curtis Lofton, so we'll see if they can come up with something special.
2. Will Vernon Davis continue to own the Saints?
I don't need to tell any Saints fan how covering Vernon Davis panned out last year. When the 49ers do pass, you know they'll be looking to exploit a safety or linebacker covering Davis pretty much all game long. I cringe at the thought, but hope the Saints' can make something happen.
3. How does Colin Kaepernick manage his first road start?
I'm actually a little relieved Kaepernick is the starter instead of Alex Smith, though I may live to regret saying that. While Kaepernick has a much better arm and is a more capable playmaker, this is also his second career start and his first in a hostile environment. I know Jim Harbaugh is starting him because he's attracted to the idea of a quarterback that's able to make the throws downfield that Alex Smith just doesn't give him. But with lack of experience can come mistakes, and with Kaepernick's arm I'm hoping it will tempt Harbaugh to take more risks with his play calling. Ultimately I'd rather lose with the Saints getting torched by Kaepernick than to see the 49ers commit repeatedly to the run. Why? Because I don't believe the Saints can stop them on the ground. Safe plays calls in this game, in my opinion, favor the 49ers. If Alex Smith was in the game, I believe you'd see the 49ers commit more singularly to the run. With Kaepernick in, I could see Harbaugh being tempted to air it out a little bit, and I'm hopeful the young phenom would make a costly mistake or two due to lack of experience.
4. How does the right tackle position hold up?
Bryce Harris is in line to most likely make his first career start as an undrafted rookie free agent. That's a disaster of sorts, when you consider the Saints are without starter Zach Strief (officially listed questionable - but rumors are he won't play) and backup veteran Charles Brown who's played well in his absence. Harris is a huge question mark. The 49ers are a scary pass rushing team and Aldon Smith leads the NFL in sacks. While Smith usually rushes from the left side, I did see him moved over in the Bears game last week and I wouldn't be surprised to see the 49ers do the same this week with such a young and untested new starter on the right side in Harris. I've theorized the Saints will use Pierre Thomas and Jimmy Graham more in protection to help keep Drew Brees clean, but that'll mean less options in the passing game.
5. Is Darren Sproles back, and if so, how do the Saints manage the reps they give out?
It seems clear that Travaris Cadet is the odd man out of the offensive rotation if Sproles is active. That said, with the way Chris Ivory has played I have to assume he'll get some reps, along with Mark Ingram, Thomas and of course Sproles. But how will they get distributed? I know the Saints will want to establish the run game, especially with Bryce Harris in the lineup, which will put more ask on Ingram and Ivory, but if the Saints become more one dimensional then Sproles and Thomas will see the lion share of snaps. It will be very intriguing to see how the Saints rotate these four in and out. I don't envy Carmichael, that's for sure. Four very good running backs is a nice problem to have, but it's tough to give them all the reps they deserve and use them each in the right situation.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Is it just me or has there been a spike in unsportsmanlike behavior in the NFL this season? New Orleans Saints lineman Brodrick Bunkley attempted to one-up Ndamukong Suh's groin kick on Thanksgiving by delivering a little swift kick of his own on Sunday. Watch as the former first round draft pick takes out his anger on San Francisco's Alex Boone by booting him in the back...
Marques Colston has scored the 56th touchdown of his career and with New Orleans, surpassing Saints' all-time rusher Deuce McAllister for the club record.
Colston, a seventh-round draft choice out of Hofstra in 2006, surpassed McAllister with 10-yard reception over the middle in the second quarter of New Orleans' game against San Francisco on Sunday.
The touchdown catch...
If you happen to be looking for the latest NFL wide receiver to do a touchdown celebration using Psy's "Gangnam Style" dance, it would be Lance Moore of the New Orleans Saints.
Last week against Oakland, Moore caught a 38-yard pass from Drew Brees and decided to bust out the dance in front of Raiders Nation at O.Co Coliseum:
(Courtesy of Holdout Sports)
New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles is listed as probable to start against the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Sproles has missed the last three games after having surgery to repair a broken hand. Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas have been combining for carries in place of Sproles.
Southampton recorded back-to-back successes for the first time this season on Sunday, with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle enough to lift them out of the Premier League drop zone.
Saints skipper Adam Lallana and record signing Gaston Ramirez were on target at St Mary's, with the injury-plagued visitors unable to provide any kind of attacking threat.
Nigel Adkins' side looked...
I'm still trying to figure out how New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston didn't end up seriously injuring himself on this brutal hit from yesterday's Saints/49ers game.
The incident happened in the third quarter of play as Colston was hit low by 49ers safety DaShon Goldson and was sent helmet first into the Superdome turf:
Thankfully for Marques...
NOT VERY SAINTLY
In what surely will result in a hefty fine from the league, Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley did his best Ndamukong Suh impersonation by kicking 49ers OL Alex Boone in the head. He was promptly ejected from game. Via Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports:With 1:13 left in San Francisco's eventual 31-21 win, the 49ers were set up to kick a 33-yard field goal, but the attempt was blocked by...
Saints linebacker Jon Vilma says he's disappointed that the new schedule for bounty hearings virtually prevents him from being able to personally confront his accusers.
Vilma says he wanted to be present for witness interviews with former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo, who assisted the NFL's investigation into the...
At one point the Saints led 14-7 with under a minute left in the first half and were getting close to field goal range for a possible chance at a 17-7 lead at the break. Then, Drew Brees threw a horrible interception that was easily returned for a touchdown to make it a 14-14 tie at half. 6 sacks and another pick six later, the Saints lost 21-31. The game was largely a disaster in...
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham only had four receptions for 33 yards on six targets Sunday against the 49ers, but it wasn't due to a lack of playing time. Graham played 70 percent of the team's offensive snaps, tops on the team among any WRs, RBs and TEs. SOURCE: Adam Caplan, TheSidelineView.comFantasy Spin:San Francisco arguably has the fastest linebacking corps in the NFL...
New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley was ejected in the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFL game in the Superdome for kicking San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Alex Boone in the head.
Boone was on the ground after a Niners field goal was blocked, while Bunkley stood over him and kicked him in the back of the head as he was getting up.
In addition to being...
The Saints' offense is largely responsible for this loss, no one more than Drew Brees for a horrible pick six to Ahmad Brooks before halftime that tied the game and forever changed the complexion. Brees would throw another pick six later, and when you consider the final spread in the game was 10 points, the fourteen give up on the two picks alone loom pretty large. But if you...
Late in today’s game between the 49ers and the Saints, Brodrick Bunkley let his frustration get the best of him.
Alex Boone, a lineman for San Francisco, was kicked in the head by Bunkley after a play. Boone was on the ground at the time, with Bunkley standing over him.
No harm was done to Boone, but the officials saw it and ejected Bunkley. Enjoy paying that fine, sir.
San Francisco receiver Kyle Williams and running back Kendall Hunter both were hurt on the same play during the second half of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Niners officials said Williams had a knee injury and would not return, while Hunter hurt his ankle and was questionable. The club did not specify which leg was hurt for either player.
Both had help off the...
The San Francisco 49ers will play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the Superdome. The game is scheduled for a 4:25 p.m. EST start time and can be seen in many markets as the late game on FOX.
New Orleans was given up for dead when the season started, now they are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. The 49ers will start Colin Kaepernick at quarterback as they apparently...