49ers-Saints: Can the defense overcome the offensive beast?

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints leads his team in a chant as they huddle up prior to playing against the Minnesota Vikings at Louisiana Superdome on September 9 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. The Saints won 14-9. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It's safe to say that just about everything that could go wrong last Sunday against the Seahawks did go wrong. The offense struggled, the defense struggled, even Andy Lee had a day that showed he might be a mortal (dodge that lightning bolt!).

The 49ers defense started out incredibly strong like the 49ers offense, but as with the offense, the 49ers defense took a fairly ugly turn. The turn really wasn't as bad as the offense, but it certainly wasn't pretty. The primary problem was what was an incredibly aggressive secondary. The 49ers picked Matt Hasselbeck on the first play of the game, and it would seem got a little over-confident in their abilities. As Hasselbeck himself said, Nate Clements was playing especially aggressive and they were going to make him pay for it.

The Seahawks proceeded to introduc some double moves and every time they scored a passing touchdown, it seemed like a double move was creating too much separation between receiver and cornerback. The 49ers did not make a sufficient enough adjustment and just like that it was game, set, and match

Now we head into a week two matchup that does not get any easier, and in fact will be one of the toughest matchups the 49ers secondary will face all season long. The New Orleans Saints passing attack struggled a bit last week against the Vikings but if that's struggling I'll take it any day of the week. While Drew Brees didn't put up monster numbers he was able to spread things out and keep the ball moving enough to get the W.

The Saints roll out a whole host of wide receivers including Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Lance Moore among others. Throw in Jeremy Shockey at tight end and Reggie Bush on occasion and you've got a whole host of weapons at Drew Brees' disposal.

The 49ers two problems on defense last week were the overly aggressive secondary and the lack of any semblance of a consistent pass rush. This week, with four legit receiving options at wide receiver, the 49ers secondary will have its hands full. How should the defense adjust after last week's tough lesson? What changes need to be made on defense to have enough success against the Saints offense that they can keep the 49ers in the game?

I know there are some folks who don't like Greg Manusky and I'd imagine at least one comment of fire Manusky or something along those lines. What I'd prefer we do with this discussion is focus on what the 49ers currently have at their disposal. Whether you like Manusky or not, he's not going anywhere so based on that fact, what adjustments will Manusky need to make?

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