Here we are again. Traveling to New Orleans for what seems like our annual game against the Saints.
As usual, the 49ers will not be favored to win. They won last year’s game handily, in the game that cemented Colin Kaepernick as the team’s starting and future QB. The game actually turned on the two pick sixes the defense pulled off against Drew Brees, but most of the glory went to Colin.
It’s one year later now, and Kaepernick comes to town with media and fan arrows sticking out of his back, running the worst passing offense in the league. Last year, the team was 7-2-1. This year it’s 6-3.
Fortunately, the Saints defense is dead last against the run, which happens to be what the 49er offense does very well. If the defense is able to contain Brees somewhat, maybe the team can sneak out of town with a win. That is not a resounding “maybe,” though. More in the feeble gasp range.
LDE Ray McDonald will likely miss this game with a high ankle sprain, so perhaps we’ll finally get to see Tank Carradine rotated in for a few plays. We should find out today whether Vernon Davis and/or Eric Reid will be cleared to play after last Sunday’s concussions. Both of these guys are crucial to any hopes of winning this game.
The Saints seemed to be running away with the NFC South division until a couple of losses and a five game Panthers winning streak suddenly made this a dog fight. If the Saints lose Sunday and Carolina wins, it would be a tie atop the division. On the other hand, a 49er loss and a Cardinals’ win over Jacksonville would create a second place tie in the NFC West.
At least Saints’ LB Jonathan Vilma won’t be suited up Sunday. He was placed on IR last Monday. The same destination he sent Kyle Williams and Kendall Hunter last year — all on ONE play. Vilma is to the Niners what Bernard Pollard is to the Patriots — bad news.
Hunter has been pretty much the invisible guy this year, for some reason. The Niners seem to have a disturbing trend of stocking the roster with decent players that never get used. This is especially true at the WR position. Not that any of our invisible WRs are good, but how would you know? They never play.