San Francisco at New Orleans
As the calendar turned to October the Saints were 0-4 while SF was 3-1 and all was right in the Bay. Fast forward to mid-November and I’ll officially call it a turnaround as the Saints won 3 straight and 4 of 5 while the 49ers are 2-1-1 with the tie coming at home. The Saints have clearly utilized the Dome as a powerful edge and even in this season’s trying times as they knocked off SD and Philly in prime time and took care of the NFL’s final unbeaten. This week their sights are set on revenging “The Grab” as they were :09 away from the advancing to the NFC Championship when Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis with a 14 yd pass. SF is in a tough spot having hosted Chicago on Monday Night and playing on a short week with an early start. All 3 West Coast teams that have faced this situation this year have faltered in Arizona at GB (17-31), Oakland at Miami (13-35) and Seattle at St Louis (13-19). Last year Brees thew for 435 yds vs SF and that was with the coastal winds, on the road, outdoors and with playoff pressure so the game plan is already in place.
PHIL’S FORECAST: NEW ORLEANS 27 SAN FRANCISCO 24