Saturday, January 14, 2012


ON GRASS1602301,84969.68.0459961095.7

For any other quarterback, completing nearly 70 percent of your passes at over eight yards for a QB rating near 100 would be phenomenal.  But when you consider that the Saints are still a pass first offense predicated on the ability to move the ball quickly through the air, seeing a breakdown that includes only nine touchdowns versus six interceptions and 10 sacks, shifts the entire balance of this game.  Passing offenses thrive even more on turf, a surface that is in part responsible for some of the amazing cuts and moves athletes perform as it is for their future knee injuries.  That lack of give provides greater advantages for the offense, with receivers rarely being pushed off their routes or falling down, leading to the kind of interceptions fan often gawk at in confusion.  Remember the greatest show on turf, Kurt Warner and Mike Martz's high flying offense in St. Louis?  If Drew Brees and company want to defeat the 49ers today, that stat line above can't includ a 3:2 TD:INT ratio.  The 49ers are the most opportunistic defense in the league having created 38 turnovers and the highest give/take ratio in the NFL of plus 28.  Brees will simply have to be better than he has been on the grass surface this year to take apart San Francisco, and as long as the 49ers can shake off a Bye week malaise and their youth, they will compete in this game fiercely.  I'm taking the points and the 49ers.