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1-0 Saints To Face San Francisco On Tonight

Following an exciting 14-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the Louisiana Superdome to kick off the 2010 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints (1-0) will play in prime time for the second consecutive week when they face the San Francisco 49ers (0-1) on toight at Candlestick Park.
     The nationally televised matchup against an up-and-coming power in the NFC West will pose a stiff challenge for the Saints. 
     The September 9 season opening win came with a consistent performance on offense, defense and special teams for the defending Super Bowl champions. Early in the evening, it seemed like the contest would repeat with the offensive fireworks of the NFC Championship when QB Drew Brees found WR Devery Henderson for a 29-yard touchdown on New Orleans' first offensive drive. However, the contest evolved into a defensive struggle, with the Saints not taking the lead for good until the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by RB Pierre Thomas.
     Brees served as  a model of efficiency for the Saints, completing 75 percent (27-36) of his passes for 237 yards with a 101.3 passer rating, putting passes in the hands of nine of his perimeter players. After rushing for only one yard in the first half, Thomas carried the ball 17 times for 70 yards in the second half, rushing for six first downs and catching another from Brees.
     Defensively, the Saints held the Vikings to 253 total net yards with three new starters in the lineup, minimizing the production of the powerful tandem of QB Brett Favre and RB Adrian Peterson. New Orleans won the turnover battle, when LB Jonathan Vilma had a second quarter interception of Favre.
     Dating back to their days as division rivals in the old NFC West, San Francisco has traditionally ranked among the Saints' toughest foes, with the 49ers holding a 45-23-2 advantage in the series. New Orleans carries a five-game win streak against the Niners into Monday, their longest in the series and have won eight of the last nine, reversing a dominant streak for the Niners where they won 27 of 39 contests from 1980-99.
     Saints head coach Sean Payton carries a 19-13 road record into the game, the sixth best road winning percentage (.594) in the NFL since 2006. He will be looking to improve his record against NFC West opponents to 7-1 on Monday at San Francisco's legendary venue. 
     The two clubs last met on Sept. 28, 2008 at the Louisiana Superdome in a 31-17 Saints victory that saw Brees throw for 363 yards and three touchdown passes, two to WR Lance Moore, while CB Tracy Porter had the first interception and sack of his career.
     San Francisco comes into the game having dropped their season opener to the Seattle Seahawks 31-6 on Sunday, September 12

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