Let’s get blunt for a second. We despise the 49ers…and not in that playful, cross town rivalry way that we hate the Falcons. We absolutely abhor the 49ers. They’re like the hot guy in high school who was not only a quarterback but had a 4.0 GPA and the hottest chick in school, and a cool car, and lots of money. And to top it all off, he was a total prick.
We played them twice each season from 1970 to 2001 with often frightening results. During those years, the 49ers won the NFC West division 16 times with two dominating streaks lasting from 1987-1990 and 1992-1995 and claimed 5 Super Bowl wins. The Saints won only 2 NFC West titles in 1991 and 2000. (Chick-a-Dee lived in San Francisco during that 1991 season and it was fiendishly delightful to be a Saints supporter in the midst of grim-faced, spoiled Whiner fans. It was also ghoulish fun to taunt them until they foamed at the mouth but that’s another post.)
These days, the 49ers are like that aforementioned hot guy from high school who grew up to be a meth addicted grocery store clerk. It’s been nothing but one losing season after another. And just when we thought their tide had turned this season, the team embarked on a chilling 4-game losing. Meanwhile, the Saints started out losing 4 in a row but have fought back and won 2 straight. That leaves both teams at 2-4. Below the Chicks break down the potential game breakers when the teams meet this Sunday.
Will Gore Run in ’07?: San Francisco running back, Frank Gore, led the NFC in 2006 with 1,695 yards rushing on 5.4 yards per carry. He had 8 rushing touchdowns and caught 61 passes for 485 yards and 1 touchdown. But Gore has not been as productive so far in 2007. He’s been hampered by the withering disintegration of the SF offensive line. He rushed for 88 yards last week against the New York Giants which is his best game of the season. Gore is likely having nightmares about the challenge of squaring off against an increasingly wicked Saints run defense that has not allowed an opponent to gain 100 rushing yards in five straight games.
The Bitter Beer Man – There were many “tears in our beer” when kickoff return specialist, Michael Lewis, was released by the Saints in the off season. Lewis is a hometown boy who attended Grace King High School right outside of New Orleans. He worked as a beer delivery man while trying to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL earning his nickname Beer Man. Once he was given the chance to prove himself and show off his almost supernatural speed, Lewis became the Saints’ all-time career leader in punt returns (142) and punt return yardage (1,482). He set an NFL record in 2002 for combined kick-punt return yardage with 2,432 yards total (1,807 kickoff, 625 punt) leading to an appearance at the Pro Bowl. The Saints’ decision to release Lewis may come back to haunt us when we face him wearing a 49er uniform on Sunday afternoon.
Dead on Arrival: San Francisco ranks dead last in the NFL in total offense and passing offense. Fading hopes are riding on quarterback Alex Smith who is returning this week after sitting out with a shoulder injury last week. He will be hard-pressed to revive the lurching zombified offense with a 66.6 passer rating in four games. And there’s the foul air of dissension creeping through the Niner facility with players, including Frank Gore, questioning the play-calling credibility of new offensive coordinator, Jim Hostler. Saints coaches, players and fans know that we should be able to take advantage of the grim weaknesses plaguing this 49er team.
Chicks Prediction: Saints 24 – Whiners 13