The San Francisco 49ers are in New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday with kickoff at 4:25 EST. Things don’t look so good for them. They lost their starting QB for the year, George Kittle is out eight weeks, and they have countless injuries at key positions. A loss in this game would all but end their season, given how competitive their division is.
It would mark two years in a row that the NFC West champ goes to the Super Bowl (and loses) and then fails to qualify for the playoffs in the year that followed. They have had to go very deep at most positions on both sides of the ball, so the fact that they have four wins is impressive by itself.
New Orleans meanwhile, has been absolutely rolling. They dismantled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in primetime last week, dominating from the get-go. The fact that they are escapable of performances like that is very telling of where they are at right now. They’re clearly out for blood and hoping to draw more of it with another dominant performance in this game.
The spread favors the Saints in this game by 9.5 points. The over/under is set at 49.
49ers Doing What They Can
Nick Mullens isn’t exactly a bad QB option, but he is not good enough to lead teams to consistent wins at this level, which we saw evidence of in 2018. He can throw for all the yards he wants but struggles to finish drives off with touchdowns. Now that he’s replacing Jimmy Garoppolo for the year, the pressure is on his shoulders.
The team’s leading receiver last week was Richie James, who caught nine passes for 184 yards. Those numbers are fantastic on paper. But consider that James had ZERO(!) receptions coming into the week, and it shows you just how short-handed they were. They’ll get a few guys back this week, but the injuries are still insurmountable, and seemingly endless.
In order to get a win in this one, the Niners will have to slow Drew Brees and company down pretty early. A big deficit will equal certain doom.
Saints Looking to Push Record to 7-2
All they do (of late) is win. Brees is in his bag right now, and the return of Michael Thomas gave the team the added boost they needed. He and Alvin Kamara tend to catch every pass thrown at them. And the creativity of the Taysom Hill packages continues to not only amaze, but work almost every time.
There is so much genius in New Orleans, always coming up with new ways to win games. The only thing they still can’t figure out is how to get back to the Super Bowl. That conversation is for another day, but it’s still very relevant.
They’ll be looking to sack Mullens early and often, hoping to frustrate the 49ers offense into forcing things.
Saints Win Big
It won’t be close after the first half. The Saints will run up the score on San Fran to push their record to 7-2.