The 3-4 New Orleans travel all the way out to the west coast in California, where the 1-6 San Francisco 49ers will be waiting for them. It’s been a train wreck of a year for the 49ers, who will undoubtedly be looking at a high draft pick in April. The chase for the first pick in the draft will more than likely be between the 49ers and Cleveland Browns, a team who have yet to win a game. To find the 49ers only win this season, you’ll need to go back to Week 1 against the L.A. Rams. Remember that catastrophe for the Rams? The perception was that the Rams were going to be the worst team in the NFL, but the real losers were on the winning side that night. The 49ers have lost five straight games since, and have had to deal with the Colin Kaepernick distraction.
Nothing was working with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, so the 49ers have been giving Kaepernick an opportunity to take a hold of the starting role. He hasn’t don’t much with the chance, but what are the Niners going to do at this point? Go back to Gabbert who has been equally as bad? Gabbert passed for 5 touchdowns with 6 interceptions for a QB rating of 69.6. Conversely, Kaepernick has 2 touchdowns and 1 interception with 150 yards rushing. He’s fumbled the ball three times, enough to take his rating down to 66.2. Might as well stick with Kaepernick and see if he can do something. The alternate option isn’t any better in this case.
The offense hasn’t been great, as you can see, but with some help from the defense this whole operation in San Francisco would look much better. The 49ers have been getting gashed defensively, looking like a shell of their former selves in the Jim Harbaugh era. The Seahawks should not be scoring 46 points on anybody this season, nor should the Bills be putting up 45 points. The 49ers allowed both instances to happen, with their only quality performance against the Rams in Week 1. We’ll see if they can contain Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. 49ers +4.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. 49ers Pick:
Since the 49ers allowed 0 points against the Rams in Week 1, they’ve given up an average of 36.5 points per game, including 45 points or more twice. The pundits and everyone can talk about how bad the quarterbacks have been in San Francisco, but the fact of the matter is it’s the defense that should be getting shammed. There has been zero effort, and clearly head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t been able to get his team up to play on defense. I said it over a year ago, and I’ll say it again, we’re going to be seeing Kelly coaching college football sooner rather than later. San Fran are allowing 407.6 yards per game, 30th in the NFL, and this is after the Rams helped their defensive numbers out in Week 1.
Drew Brees will test the 49er defense in this one. The Saints are averaging 415 yards per game this season, which is 2nd in the NFL, trailing only the Falcons in that department. They do lead the league in passing, though, by a healthy margin of 12 yards over Matt Ryan. Brees is throwing for an average of 327 yards in 2016. The 49ers are 7th defending the pass, so perhaps they can match up well with the Saints’ strength this afternoon.
The Saints have had challenges getting help from their defense. Offensively they have been fine, but there is a reason they are 3-4 this season. It isn’t due to the offense. That fault lays with the defense, which has been a bad unit since they won their Super Bowl, so it’s been quite a few years since defense has been a strength of theirs. New Orleans are allowing 31 points per game, including 397.4 yards. The 49ers need to get their offense going this week. They catch the abysmal Saints’ defense at home, so here is Kaepernick’s chance for a nice afternoon. I think they do, but it’s hard to back the San Fran defense against the high-octane Saints. At the very least, I see some points being scored in this game. Enough points where we should be able to cash a ticket on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 52.5 POINTS (-110)