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San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints: A Prospector's Guide

49ers_logo_medium vs Th_saints_icon_medium

Well, the season certainly got off to a roaring start last week for our beloved 49ers. Normally I go right into the information from the media release but I've saved all that for after the jump. I've got a few thoughts on the game itself of my own that are not canned commentary.

There is all sorts of turmoil and trouble in the organization right now and we can only hope they get their act together in time for Monday Night. The 49ers came into the season with high expectations and have seen those expectations take a nose dive in many people's eyes. It's obviously only been one week and the 49ers are not the only team to deal with problems in week 1. Of course, given our passion for the team it might only seem that way.

As we head into this week 2 matchup, I'm almost willing to argue that I'd much rather face a team like the Saints in week 2 on Monday Night as opposed to facing say the Raiders or some other relatively weak opponent (not sure I can say the same about the Chiefs and Bucs at this point). Coming off a tough loss like the team had this past Sunday, having to face the defending champions might provide a better opportunity for the organization to right the ship.

Obviously the 49ers could lose and find themselves 0-2 just like that. However, I think the upside of the momentum that could be established is worth the risk of a second ugly loss. And we might really know what kind of team this is given that they are facing serious adversity and don't get a patsy they can handle. Of course, if the 49ers roll over and get slapped around on MNF, then I guess we'll really know what kind of team we have.

In the first of four primetime games of the season for the 49ers, the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints make a visit to Candlestick Park in a nationally televised game on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

San Francisco is 22-10 all-time at home on Monday Night Football, including a 2-0 mark against the Saints at Candlestick Park. The 49ers have outscored the Saints 73-20 in those two contests.

The Niners are coming off a divisional loss to Seattle in the season opener last Sunday after jumping out to a 6-0 lead. CB Nate Clements intercepted the first play of the game from Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, marking the second consecutive year that Clements registered and INT in the first game of the season (at Arizona 9/13/09).    

49ers-Seahawks Saints Connections

  • 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, pass rush specialist coach Al Harris and Saints head coach Sean Payton all played for the Chicago Bears in 1987.
  • 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, special teams coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. coached together with the Redskins in 2001. Carmichael Jr.also coached with 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky while with the Chargers from 2002-05.
  • Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye coached with Saints assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000.
  • 49ers special teams coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer was the secondary coach in St. Louis under former head coach and now Saints assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt in 2005.
  • 49ers special assistant to the head coach/secondary Johnnie Lynn coached with Saints head coach Sean Payton while with the Giants in2002.
  • 49ers quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson, Saints secondary coach Dennis Allen and Saints defensive line coach Bill Johnson coached together in Atlanta in 2005.
  • Saints offensive line/running game coach Aaron Kromer coached under 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye in 2004 while with the Raiders. 

SAINTS-NOR CAL CONNECTIONS: Saints head coach Sean Payton was born in San Mateo, CA ... G Carl Nicks is a native of Salinas, CA ... RB Lynell Hamilton is a native of Stockton, CA ... CB Leigh Torrence played at Stanford University from 2000-04.

49ERS-LOUISIANA CONNECTIONS: 49ers S Curtis Taylor (2004-2008) and DT Ricky Jean Francois (2005-08) were teammates at Louisiana State University ... 49ers secondary coach Vance Joseph was born in Marrero, LA ... 49ers special teams coordinator Kurt Shottenheimer was the defensive backs coach at Tulane during the1983 season and then served as the linebackers coach at LSU from 1984-85... 49ers wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan served in the same position at LSU from 1984-90 ... 49ers assistant wide receivers coach Wendell Davis was born and raised in Shreveport, LA, from there he went on to play at LSU as a wide receiver where he was a first-team All-America selection as a senior ... 49ers quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson played quarterback while 49ers national scout Matt Malaspina played center for the CFL's Shreveport Pirates from 1994-95 ... 49ers southeast area scout Justin Chabot resides in Baton Rouge, LA ... 49ers assistant equipment manager Donovan "Doc" Dressler served as the head equipment manager at Northwestern Louisiana State from 1999-00.

TENNESSEE TIES - 49ers NT Aubrayo Franklin and Saints CB Jabari Greer were teammates at Tennessee from 2000-02.

THE "U" - 49ers RB Frank Gore played at Miami with Saints TE Jeremy Shockey and LB Jonathan Vilma in 2001.

RED RAIDER RELATIONSHIPS - 49ers WR Michael Crabtree played at Texas Tech with Saints DE Brandon Sharpe from 2007-08.

BUCKEYE BROTHERS - 49ers WR Ted Ginn, T Alex Boone and QB Troy Smith played at Ohio State with Saints S Malcolm Jenkins from 2005-06. During that time frame, Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy.

TROJAN TEAMMATES - 49ers Chilo Rachal won a National Championship at USC while playing with Saints RB Reggie Bush and DT Sedrick Ellis. 49ers rookie S Taylor Mays and Saints rookie T Charles Brown were also teammates at USC from 2006-09.    

Series Highlights
Matchups: 70
Series Record: 49ers lead series 45-23-2
49ers Home Record vs. Saints: 49ers lead series 22-10-2
First Meeting: 10/22/67, 49ers win, 27-13
Last Meeting: 9/28/08, Saints win, 31-17
Current Streak: Lost 5
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 8 (9/15/74-11/27/77)
Longest Saints Win Streak: 5 (10/20/02-9/28/08)
Most 49ers Points: 42 (11/22/93), 42-7, vs. New Orleans
Most Saints Points: 43 (11/23/69), 43-38, at New Orleans
49ers Shutouts: 5 times, Last: (1/6/02), 38-0, 49ers win, at New Orleans
Saints Shutouts
: None

At New Orleans, LA, September 28, 2008

RB Deuce McAllister's hard running gave the New Orleans Saints the credible power running threat they needed to open deep throws for QB Drew Brees in a 31-17 Saints victory at the Louisiana Superdome. Brees was 23-of-35 for 363 yards and had 3 scores, including TD passes of 47 yards to WR Robert Meachem and 33 yards to WR Lance Moore. Brees also set up scores with a 52-yard pass to Meachem and an 81-yard connection with WR Devery Henderson. McAllister saw his most extensive action of the year, gaining 73 yards on 20 carries, including a 1-yard TD run in the 4th quarter.

The 49ers had 3 turnovers, including two QB J.T. O'Sullivan passes that were intercepted by the Saints in the end zone. Despite the big plays and turnovers, the 49ers still had a chance with 4 minutes left to play. Leading 28-9 with just over 6 minutes remaining, New Orleans elected to go for the TD on a 4th-and-goal situation from the San Francisco 1-yard line. S Michael Lewis forced a fumble that was recovered by LB Patrick Willis following a pass from Brees to FB Olaniyi Sobomehin.

The 49ers responded with a TD drive that was helped by a 43-yard pass interference penalty against the Saints that gave the 49ers a 1st down at midfield. O'Sullivan completed a19-yard pass to TE Vernon Davis and a 36-yard pass to WR Arnaz Battle to get in position for a 5-yard TD pass to WR Isaac Bruce to close the Saints lead to 28-17 after the successful two-point play with 4:08 left in the game. The 49ers tried to get the ball back, but failed to convert the onside kick attempt, and the Saints took advantage of the good field position with a FG to seal the victory.

After San Francisco took a 3-0 1st quarter lead, New Orleans countered with 21 points in the 2nd quarter. Early in the quarter the 49ers had their first turnover when O'Sullivan was stripped of the ball on a sack at the 49ers own 32-yard line. That play set up the Saints first TD, a 5-yard pass from Brees to Moore. Brees had TD passes of 33 yards and 47 yards on the Saints next two series sandwiched between a 49ers FG to take a 21-6 halftime lead. The 49ers opened the second half with a 10-play, 48-yard drive into New Orleans territory but the Saints forced the 49ers to settle for a FG. The 49ers drove deep into New Orleans territory on their next two drives, but both times O'Sullivan was picked off while attempting a pass into the end zone. Battle had his first NFL 100-yard day, finishing with 120 yards on 7 receptions.

2010 Statistics

49ERS (rank) SAINTS (rank)
0-1 (t-3rd NFCW) Record 1-0 (t-1st NFCW)
6.0 (28th) Points per game 14.0 (t-18th)
263.0 (22nd) Total Offense 308.0 (15th)
49.0 (26th) Rushing Offense 79.0 (22nd)
214.0 (13th) Passing Offense 229.0 (12th)
32:45 (7th) Possession Avg 33:43 (5th)
31.0 (t-24th) Points allowed/gm 9.0 (t-3rd)
242.0 (4th) Total Defense 253.0 (6th)
77.0 (6th) Rushing Defense 91.0 (13th)
165.0 (t-10th) Passing Defense 162.0 (8th)
1 (t-19th) Sacks 1 (t-19th)
41.5 (t-15th) Punting Avg (Gross) 43.2 (11th)
-1 (t-19th) Turnover Differential +1 (t-3rd)