San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers Preview
The San Francisco 49ers are 10-2 but have fallen from the top spot in the NFC to a wild-card position after a last-second loss at Baltimore last Sunday. They are tied with Seattle atop the NFC West, but the Seahawks have a leg up in the tiebreaker after winning the first head-to-head meeting. San Francisco also has to contend with New Orleans, which enters this game with the same record. The winner of this game will win the tiebreaker. The 49ers have one of the top-rated defenses in the NFL, but their offense managed just 119 yards and three points in the second-half against Baltimore in windy, rainy conditions. The Niners spent the week preparing for this game in Bradenton, Fla.
New Orleans Saints Preview
The New Orleans Saints (10-2) became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot when they beat the Falcons in Atlanta on Thanksgiving night to clinch a third consecutive NFC South championship. The Saints’ defense created three turnovers and had nine sacks. If the Saints beat the 49ers (10-2), they will have essentially a two-game lead for the top seed in the NFC because of the tiebreaker. The Saints already hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Seattle (10-2) after beating the Seahawks in the third game of the season. Michael Thomas continues to lead the NFL in receptions (110) and receiving yardage (1,290) and remains on pace to break Marvin Harrison’s single-season receptions record (143).