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49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; At the midway point of the season, a 4-4 record typically means the same thing for any team with such a fate -- up and down play, plenty of football left to go, and a wild card spot in the ...

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Old 11-06-2014, 03:38 PM   #1
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49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

At the midway point of the season, a 4-4 record typically means the same thing for any team with such a fate -- up and down play, plenty of football left to go, and a wild card spot in the sights.

But the Saints and 49ers, each with 4-4 records, couldn’t be going in more opposite directions. On one of those stock market visualizations, you'd have one gold and black arrow skyrocketing up; a red and gold arrow plummeting down.

After starting the season 0-2, New Orleans has won its last two games — over 2013 playoff teams — in impressive fashion, its defense has played a strong six quarters in a row, and key playmakers on both sides of the ball seem to be finally getting back to health. New Orleans has won 11 straight home games and plays in what appears to be the weakest division in all of football.

The Saints are 4-4, but a healthy 4-4. The kind of 4-4 where you feel good about things and have no problem what the consequences are if you a) blow off the studio show set of NFL Network for a postgame interview after a win (check), b) shoot down a reporter questioning play-calling after a loss in Detroit (check), or c) critique the almighty infallible NFL scheduling gods for planning a Thursday night game immediately following a Sunday night affair (check). Check. Check. Check. The Saints are 4-4 and sitting pretty right now.

The 49ers? Not quite.

San Francisco is 4-4 and coming off a bad loss to the struggling Rams at home and a nationally televised blowout loss to the Broncos two weeks earlier. Frank Gore, the team's longtime workhorse, was MIA from the offensive game plan and red zone attack in the fourth quarter on Sunday and there's a new rumor about dissention within the organization every other week.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been facing the ire of sports radio callers in the Bay Area the past few weeks. "We've got to make our mind up, do what we feel we're good at and just go do it," Gore said, via CSN, following Sunday's loss to the Rams. "I still think we have a great coordinator. I still believe in our coordinator. He's been successful since he got here."

But this one might not just be on the coordinator. The 49ers offensive line isn't what it used to be. With injuries across the board, Colin Kaepernick doesn't seem to have either the time or the running lanes he once did. The Rams had six sacks all season heading into Sunday's game. They had eight on Sunday. The 49ers offensive line has given up 12 sacks in its last six quarters. On the year, they've surrendered the third-most sacks in the NFL this season. Rookie center Marcus Martin, 20, was responsible for two sacks in the Rams loss, has taken a lot of the heat, but the entire unit is struggling.

The Superdome's going to be loud, the crowd is going to be fired up, and the suddenly rejuvenated Saints pass rush will be coming at Kaepernick from all angles. The Saints will have had 10 days to prepare for the 49ers when they take the field on Sunday; rested and ready. San Francisco appears to be in a tailspin.

They're both 4-4, but the 49ers and Saints could not be in two more polar places right now.

Then again, the 49ers have never lost three consecutive games under Jim Harbaugh.

San Francisco at New Orleans: Kaepernick got his second career start in New Orleans a few years back and the 49ers won the game. Brees got the best of him last year. I don't want to play doctor and diagnose what's wrong, but the transformation from a team that runs the ball down your throat and utilizes the play-action into a pure passing offense hasn't been a good one for San Francisco. As I noted above, the 49ers have never lost three straight games under Jim Harbaugh. I think it happens in spectacular fashion on Sunday. I'm going Saints big.

The Pick: Saints 37, 49ers 20

Schrager's Week 10 Cheat Sheet: 49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

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Old 11-06-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: 49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

lets keep it this way
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:51 AM   #3
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Re: 49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

Schrager sounds like a football scholar to me.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: 49ers, Saints at opposite end of 4-4

Just imagine how loud it'll be following an LSU victory... So glad I'll be there to witness it.
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