The 49ers play the Saints Sunday at the Superdome. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups.
LT Jermon Bushrod and LG Ben Grubbs vs. Aldon and Justin Smith
These two O-linemen are over matched. They will not be able to stop either Smith one-on-one, and they will not be able to handle the T/E Stunt.
They couldn’t handle it in the playoffs last season. The two Smiths racked up two sacks and nine QB hits. This season the Saints are without Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks.
If Drew Brees doesn’t get the ball out of his hands quickly, the Saints offense will break down because they cannot block the two Smiths.
If Brees had a quick slot receiver, he’d have no trouble getting the ball out quickly against Carlos Rogers. But Brees doesn’t have that. He’s going to have a tough time finding open wide receivers, which means he’s going to take a lot of hits from the two Smiths.