49ers face critical contest against New Orleans

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) stands on the field next to offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill (60) in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Slow down.

Don’t think ahead to the 49ers’ season-finale showdown against the Seattle Seahawks, a game that could determine which team wins the NFC West and earns a bye week in the playoffs.

The 49ers first have to beat the Saints in New Orleans.

If the 49ers lose this game, that season-finale showdown against the Seahawks may not matter, because the Seahawks might have won the division already.

The 49ers need to win this weekend. But they’re 2½-point underdogs, and they’re playing a Saints team that went into Seattle with their backup quarterback and beat the Seahawks by six points. The same Seahawks team that beat the 49ers by three points in Santa Clara.

The 49ers will need to play their best game of the season to beat the Saints. Here are five keys to victory.

This article has 13 Comments

  1. Stopping Kamara may be best accomplished with Marcell Harris, in his strong safety role. Shutting down the running game will help make the Saints offense one dimensional. I hope Ford and Bosa both get a sack.
    .
    In order to negate the crowd noise, I hope the Niners are so prepared, the can execute all of their scripted plays, and run the no huddle with quick varied snaps. If the Niners can build a 2 score lead, it might quiet down the home crowd.
    .
    I agree, running the ball will protect JG, but the Niners need to be balanced, so the Saints defense does not know if they will run or pass. I hope they use the RB as a safety valve with swing passes, and not always make him block. In fact, the Niners should invite the blitz, and have enough quick options, JG will be able to avoid sacks.
    .
    JG needs to rise to the occasion, and play with good ball security.
    .
    UDFAs that I would like to see are Dwelley catching balls, Wilson running between the tackles, and Mostert running wide, with sharp cutbacks. Breida may not be fully healthy, with his heavily wrapped ankle.
    .
    Niners 24-23.
    .
    GO NINERS !!!!!!

  2. Grant. Your math is wrong.

    If the 49ers come into the final game at 12-3, and Seattle comes into it at 13-2 (having won out), the niners can beat them and it becomes a situation of tie breakers….and their tie breakers are tied as well. Both would have the same head to head record, both would have the same division record, same conference record, same record against similar opponents.

    I believe that the tie breakers that would settle it is strength of schedule, and before the season SF was a harder SOS than Seattle, so niners get in there. It would then go to points for/against in conference and the niners definitely hold the advantage there.

    But all of this wont matter since the niners will won today, Seattle is set to lose one more (today vs LA is a perfect situation) and then SF will have that 1 game lead with the division on the line in Seattle.

  3. Let’s get critical, critical.
    I want to get critical.
    Let’s get into critical.
    Let us hear your gloomy thoughts, your gloomy thoughts.
    Let us hear your gloomy thoughts.

  4. Good points eMJay but counting (hoping) on the Niners winning in Seattle the last game is a long, long shot considering their history up there in the great northwest. I think LA, who’s playing much better, could beat Seattle today, but honestly I’d rather see the Niners win and LA lose today. That secures the Niners in the playoffs. I would say that was the first goal coming into the season. Make the playoffs. Right? That scenario puts them in the dance and I think it will help them relax and play their best football the final three game and into the playoffs. I think all the SB talk is frankly a bit premature. It’s not that easy. If they make the playoffs but do not make it to the SB, I’ll consider it a successful season. If they make it to the SB and lose I’ll consider it an unbelievable, great season. If they win the SB? Cinderella story!! Of course it all starts with today. It’s never easy in NO. However, the Niners are frankly better than the Saints. They will win today and cover.
    I’m taking the Niners +2 and the over (44)

    SF 27 NO 23

  5. Grant,
    The point you make about undrafted players on this team is an excellent observation that has gone unnoticed by most. Well said.

    24-13, Niners

    D-line suffocates the Brees.

  6. I’m ok with that outcome also Seb. But, if the Niners lose today and LA wins? Ugh. I’d rather see them snuffed out before they become a problem. Also, the talk of home field advantage for the Niners is laughable to me in that mausoleum. What home field advantage? :)

  7. And win they did! Go Niners! Go Shanny!

    Eat dirt negative MontyDerh!!!

    Go Niners! 11-2! Captains of their destiny! I’m loving this season and this team!

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