This is the live blog for the pregame of the 49ers’ Week 10 road game against the Saints. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.
8:30 The 49ers just announced their inactives: QB Josh Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Leon McFadden, S L.J. McCray, LB Dan Skuta, LB Patrick Willis and G/C Dillon Farrell. CB Tramaine Brock, DT Tank Carradine and DT Quinton Dial are active. Aaron Lynch will start for Dan Skuta.
8:35 The Saints’ inactives are RB Pierre Thomas, RB Khiry Robinson, LB David Hawthorne, WR Robert Meachem, DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Nick Becton and C/G Eric Olsen. RT Zach Strief and C Jonathan Goodwin are active.
8:40 Here’s a vine of Colin Kaepernick practicing a 7-step drop before the Saints game. Greg Roman shouldn’t call any of those today in predictable down-and-distance situations. Joe Staley and Anthony Davis will get windburn from the Saints’ rushers blowing by them on the carpet.
8:53 The 49ers should be supercharged for this game. Guys like Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley, Anquan Boldin and Justin Smith realize how critical the rest of the season is and what a downfall it would be to miss the playoffs. Veterans always have a better perspective than the younger players of what it is like to miss the playoffs because they have missed them before. And they realize the light at the end of the tunnel is not daylight but sunset, as in the end of their careers.
8:58 The 49ers’ offensive line must improve its footwork. Their first step must anticipate where the rusher is going to be. That’s recognition and attention to detail. The past few weeks, the 49ers’ offensive line moved their feet slowly in pass protection and ended up lunging and missing rushers and giving up sacks. Pass blocking is a lot like tennis. You play with your feet. If your feet are slow, you lunge and miss.
9:06 It’s one thing to blitz Austin Davis. It’s another thing to blitz Drew Brees. Fangio can’t put the 49ers’ corners at risk like he did against the Rams. The game plan against the Saints cannot be blitz heavy.
9:20 ESPN just reported that the NFL did not reduce Aldon Smith’s suspension because he did not complete all of his counseling. Good going, Aldon.
9:38 Before the season, I predicted the 49ers would go 5-4 without Aldon Smith. If the Niners win today, they’d be 5-4.
9:50 Fascinating stat via ESPN Stats & Info: “Colin Kaepernick has been sacked 14 times in his last 2 games. Drew Brees has been sacked 11 times this SEASON.”
9:51 Jay Glazer just said Patrick Willis might “miss significant time” with his toe injury.