The New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers face off in a big-time showdown on Saturday with the loser probably being eliminated from having a chance at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Saints are at home and are the favorites in this matchup.
So will they step up and live up to the expectations or crumble under the pressure? Let’s breakdown three bold predictions for the Saints.
3. Drew Brees throws fewer than 200 yards
Since coming back from injury, Drew Brees has played at a solid level but there is clearly still something bothering him, or maybe age is finally just catching up to him. In the Saints’ last game against the Atlanta Falcons, he only threw for 184 yards and a touchdown.
The job isn’t going to get any easier against the 49ers’ defense as they are giving up only 134.2 opponent passing yards per game (1st). Brees is going to have problems moving the ball through the air and he will finish with fewer than 200 passing yards.
2. Saints force at least two turnovers
The 49ers have been a strong offensive team this season and Jimmy Garroplo has been the perfect quarterback for the job. However, turnovers have hindered him at times but it hasn’t been an issue lately. For reference, he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last two games, but still has 10 of them on the season and has two games where he has thrown multiple interceptions.
The Saints haven’t created a lot of interceptions this season but they are going to add to their total of seven entering this game. Both teams know this is a big game, and Garropolo is going to face pressure early to move the ball down the field. That is going to lead to some bad mistakes and a couple of costly turnovers.
1. Alvin Kamara records at least seven receptions
Alvin Kamara has been up and down the last couple of weeks but with Drew Brees struggling to pass the ball down the field, the star running back is going to be one the main pass-catching threat.
Look for a lot of check downs to Kamara and he should be able to get at least one touchdown as a result. It’s going to be difficult for the Saints to come away with a victory, but if the team is going to win, it’s going to be Kamara who carries them.