NFL Week 10 – Sputtering Niners in Tough at New Orleans
John BensonNo comments
What in the wild, wild world of the NFC West is going on with the San Francisco 49ers? The Niners (4-4, 2-2 away) are currently in third place in the division and eighth place in the conference; they need to turn things around – stat – if they hope to make the playoffs. If they fail in that quest, the future of head coach Jim Harbaugh will be in serious doubt.
Unfortunately for San Fran, they will be playing in, arguably, the toughest stadium in which to win this weekend, as they face the New Orleans Saints (4-4, 3-0 home) at the Superdome.
Despite a two-game losing streak, the Niners are doing their best not to get down on themselves … or each other. “You could point fingers at anybody,” said 49ers safety Eric Reid. “But that’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep our focus on making the playoffs. We have to keep being persistent.”
The team’s dysfunction was evident last weekend when it lost to NFC West basement-dwellers, the St. Louis Rams, at home. The Niners’ uninspiring performance was capped by a Colin Kaepernick fumble at the goal line on the last play of the game.
49ers left tackle Joe Staley said, “We have all the talent in the world. We’ve been doing some dumb stuff.”
Even though the Saints boast the same record as the 49ers, spirits are up in the Big Easy with the Saints atop the weak NFC South. After two close road-losses to open the year, the Saints finally broke through away from home last week, upending the Panthers in Carolina during a battle for top spot in the division.
While the Saints battled some injuries to key players in the passing game, running back Mark Ingram put in some yeoman-like performances, taking pressure off of QB Drew Brees. Now, with tight end Jimmy Graham back from injury, the Saints look to be back at full speed, which is a scary thought for opponents.
Said Brees, “It’s when our offense is at its best,” referring to the return of Graham.
On Sunday, look for the Saints offense to be flying high again facing a depleted 49ers defense. Lay the points (-4.5) and take the Saints.