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Game Preview: Saints at 49ers

Posted Jan 13, 2012

New Orleans and San Francisco to meet in the playoffs for the first time

Following a 45-28 win over the Detroit Lions in an NFC Wild Card matchup at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Saints will go on the road to face the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick Park on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

The Saints enter Saturday’s second round matchup coming off of the momentum of having won their last nine games and putting up an NFL single-game postseason record 626 total net yards against the Lions, their second straight performance of at least 600 net yards. New Orleans’ offense will face a stiff test against a 49ers defense that finished ranked fourth in the NFL, first against the run, in helping spur a turnaround under head coach Jim Harbaugh in his first year that resulted in a 13-3 record and first round playoff bye. Saturday, will be San Francisco’s first participation in the playoffs since the 2002 season.

While the 49ers are looking to re-establish themselves among the NFL’s elite, a lot is on the line for the Saints as well, as a win would punch the ticket to their third NFC Championship Game in six seasons.

QB Drew Brees led the standout offensive performance against the Lions, completing 33-of-43 passes for 466 yards, the second-highest single-game postseason total, while tossing three touchdown passes. A physical ground game ran up 167 yards rushing and three more touchdowns for the Saints. Defensively, New Orleans held Detroit to only 32 yards on the ground, while CB Jabari Greer came up with two second half interceptions.
 
Although the Saints and the 49ers have never met in the postseason, they have faced each other 79 times in the regular season, most of the meetings coming when the clubs were foes in the NFC West from 1970-2001.

GAMEDAY AT A GLANCE
DATE: Saturday, Jan. 14    
TIME: 3:30 p.m.(CT)
SITE: Candlestick Park
WORTH NOTING:
*A New Orleans win would give the Saints their third NFC Championship berth in six seasons.
*This will be the first postseason meeting between New Orleans and San Francisco, despite the two clubs having played 71 times in the regular season, both teams residing in the NFC West from 1970-2001.
*The 49ers lead the regular season series 45-24-2, but the Saints have won the last six meetings.

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