San Francisco is in a big time letdown mode heading into the NFL week 14 49ers at Saints free pick. New Orleans is just a -2 favorite at home on Sunday despite San Francisco falling 17-20 last week at Baltimore. Kyle Shanahan’s team goes on the road for the 2nd straight week, trying to get a win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Saints have gone 6-1 on the season. The total for this one is set at 45.
Bounce Back Game for San Francisco?
It was a potential Super Bowl preview last week, with San Francisco ultimately losing at Baltimore. It wasn’t a bad game for the league’s #1 defense, holding the Ravens to 20 points after they had put up 37+ in the previous 4 games. The defeat did drop the 49ers out of the top seed in the NFC though, with New Orleans taking over #1. Therein lies the motivation for Sunday’s tilt.
San Francisco didn’t score a lot of points last week, but they did put up some solid statistical numbers vs. Baltimore’s top 10 defense. Raheem Mostert had 19 carries for 146 yards while Jimmy Garoppolo was an efficient 15/21 passing. Aside from a rough outing in Seattle, Garoppolo has at least a 110 passer rating in 5 of the last 6. That includes going 14/20 for 253 with 2/0 in San Francisco’s dominant 37-8 win over Green Bay the week earlier. New Orleans also has a somewhat underrated top 10 defense in total yards allowed and are 3rd vs. the rush.
The 49ers #1 defense has a test on paper against the New Orleans offense. The Saints have had their struggles on that side of the ball over the last month, struggling in two games vs. Atlanta. SF held Lamar Jackson to 105 yards passing last week and Aaron Rodgers to 104 the week before. Limiting New Orleans #9 passing offense in the NFL week 14 49ers at Saints free pick would be an impressive gauntlet for the SF secondary.
Do Saints Get the Edge Being at Home?
New Orleans is 5-1 at the Superdome this season but their lone loss looms large ahead of Sunday’s game with San Francisco. In week 10 the Saints fell 9-26 to Atlanta as -13.5 favorites. The Saints didn’t commit any turnovers in that game, held Matt Ryan to 182 yards, and got nearly 300 passing yards from Drew Brees – and still lost. Brees was sacked 6 times that game and the 49ers rank 2nd in the league with 45.
Brees also had just 184 yards passing in the rematch in Atlanta last week. Michael Thomas has 110 catches for 1290 yards on the season – but has a very tough matchup with the 49ers secondary. Alvin Kamara has a high rushing output of 75 yards in the last month and hasn’t scored a TD on the ground since September 22nd.
Is the New Orleans defense up to the task on Sunday? Atlanta had 34 carries for 143 yards in the win at the Superdome, The Saints picked off Jameis Winston 4 times the next week and limited Christian McCaffrey to 64 yards on 22 carries the game after that. Ryan did throw for 312 in the Falcons rematch last game, but it took 50 attempts.
NFL Week 14 49ers at Saints Free Pick
It’s tough going against New Orleans at home but their wins have included by 2 vs. Dallas, a TD vs. Tampa, and a FG over Carolina – not to mention the loss vs. the Falcons. It’s tough for San Fran to go on the road two weeks in a row, but they have the defense and the running game to get the W here.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers +2