The Black and Gold were able to take care of business in the Superdome last Sunday versus the Rams. For the second week in a row, the Saints’ opponent will be an NFC West foe in the San Francisco 49ers, riding high on a three-game win streak. Here are five things to look out for:
1) 49ERS RUN GAME:
San Francisco has one of the more versatile run games in the league with all of their stars in the backfield. They traded for Christian McCaffrey, former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun Elijah Mitchell has made it back from injury and will get creative with wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whether he is lined up next to the quarterback or gets handed the ball while being in motion before the snap. The Saints are most familiar with McCaffrey, who spent all his career with the Panthers before getting dealt to the Niners.
New Orleans is tied for fourth with the most flags thrown on them at 74 while San Francisco is middle of the pack with 59. In four road games, 33 of the penalties for New Orleans have been called compared to the 20 for the 49ers in their four home games. Drives for the Saints often come to a halt anytime someone on the offense has been flagged and either punt or settle for a field goal when in range.
3) NICK BOSA:
The defensive line and front seven of San Fran are one of the best whether you want to mention Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, or Arik Armstead. Nick Bosa stands out the most from that group as he is now third in the league in sack total with 10.5. The former number two overall pick will require the same amount of attention as previous playmakers like TJ Watt and Aaron Donald with his 30 tackles and three stuffs on the season.
4) SAINTS OFFENSIVE GAMEPLAN:
We’ve seen inconsistency throughout the season from Pete Carmichael and the offensive game plan. In one game, we’ll see skill position players like Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill get plenty of touches and have a big impact on the game. Then, for the next game, they’ll get their touches limited, and the offense will struggle to cross midfield. If the offense wants to function throughout the contest, the stars need to get fed the ball early and often to stand a chance against the 49ers team that is on a role.
5) PLAYERS COMING BACK:
Players for the Black and Gold are starting to make their returns after missing the last several games due to injuries. Some of who we could and should see on Sunday are James Hurst from his concussion, Jarvis Landry with his ankle, guard Andrus Peat, and cornerback Marhson Lattimore, who have been dealing with triceps and abdomen issues. Cam Jordan could also suit up after missing his first-ever NFL game due to an eye injury. Someone who could be out is Kamara as he’s been dealing with an illness.
Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at 3:25 p.m.