Following up with the 2010 opponent breakdown, let’s continue on with the next opponent on the schedule.
The 49ers will host the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints on Monday Night.
2009 Record: 13-3 (1st NFC South)
Last meeting: 9/28/08 @ New Orleans (New Orleans wins 31-17)
2010 schedule: Week 2 @ San Francisco (Monday Night)
3 big name players: QB Drew Brees, S Darren Sharper, OG Jahri Evans
Franchise player: None
Notable draft picks: CB Patrick Robinson, OL Charles Brown, TE Jimmy Graham
Notable new acquisitions: DE Alex Brown, LB Clint Ingram
Notable losses: LT Jammal Brown, RB Mike Bell, DE Bobby McCrary,LB Scott Fujita,
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a magical season in which they won their first 13 regular season games topped off by a very impressive Super Bowl victory. They will be the 49ers’ first home opponent in 2010 — a Monday Night game.
The Saints offense is a statistical masterpiece. Last season, the Saints led the league in offense with an average of 403.8 yards per game. Also, the Saint were the top scoring team in the league.
Quarterback Drew Brees has been nothing but spectacular since arriving to the Saints 2006. What makes the passing game very dangerous is that there is no particular star receiver on the team. The offense is so spread, a player like Devery Henderson could make a spectacular catch on one drive and tight end Jeremy Shockey could be making catches on the very next drive. The passing attack is very dangerous.
Even though the team did lose running back Mike Bell, they might have a solild 1-2 punch in Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Thomas will work as the main back for the solid hard yards while Bush could end up as being the change of pace back.
During last year’s playoffs, Bush broke out against the Cardinals with two touchdowns (one on a punt, another on a run) and that might have helped secured Bush’s future with the team.
The strong offensive line of the Saints have been their backbone for a few years and despite losing Jammal Brown, the Saints still look very solid up front.
On defense, the secondary welcomed the return of safety Darren Sharper. Sharper had one of the best years any defensive back has had in recent memory and instead of bolting for another team, decided to stay with the Saints. With Sharper, the Saints have cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Randall Gay to platoon a defense that was ranked third in interceptions.
Pressure on the 49es offense might come from the Saints defensive line. Depending on how well the 49ers offensive line plays, they might be in for a long day. Defensive end Will Smith collected 13 sacks last year and his pressure on the 49ers could make a huge difference.
Looking at the Saints, the 49ers have to find a way to contain their passing attack. The 49ers secondary might be their weakest point of their entire defense. If the 49ers can hold down the big plays, they might have a chance to keep it close.
It’s going to be hard for the 49ers to go up against this well-oiled machine that is the Saints.
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