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In Saturday’s early game, something’s gotta give

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I’ve been going extra-nerdy this week, referring to the division-round opener as an exercise in Newtonian physics.

The irresistible force meets the immovable object.

Or, as NBC SportsTalk producer Ricky Diamond put it yesterday while we were prepping for the show, it’s the 49ers hosting the 45ers.  Yes, in each of the past three games, the Saints have scored exactly 45 points.

The 49ers, in contrast, have allowed 10 points in their last three home games.  Not 10 points per game; 10 total points.

Peter King explained during the Friday NBC SportsTalk that the Saints practiced at Candlestick Park on Friday, and that they were pleasantly surprised by the condition of the field.  January weather in the Bay Area has been unusually warm and dry, and the track could be fast.

It’s a far cry from the condition of the playing surface 30 years ago, when a Rolling Stones concert held in October sent the turf into a downward spiral, prompting the powers-that-be to enlist George Toma to try to salvage it.

It’s still a horsesh-t field,” Giants coach Ray Perkins said after San Fran beat the Giants in the division round.  The 49ers would benefit from equine-manure conditions on Saturday.  The good conditions favor the Saints’ high-octane offense.

But the Niners could get their boost from the fact that the Saints are favored to win.  As Chris Berman pointed out during ESPN’s Saturday edition of Sunday NFL Countdown, the 49ers are the first home underdog since the Panthers against the Cowboys in 1996.  (Carolina won.)

Surely, coach Jim Harbaugh will use that slight to get his team worked up into a rabid frenzy.  Rosenthal thinks the Saints will still win; I’ve joined the clear minority and picked the 49ers.

Either way, it could be the best game of the weekend.  Feel free to post any taunts or lamentations here.  We’ll be posting on any relevant developments as the game unfolds.

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9 Responses to “In Saturday’s early game, something’s gotta give”
  1. eaglesnoles05 says: Jan 14, 2012 4:23 PM

    Yeah, and it’s gonna be the 49ers

  2. garyman1 says: Jan 14, 2012 4:29 PM

    If the 49ers can be beat New Orleans, they will have made a believer out of me.

  3. hscorpio says: Jan 14, 2012 4:45 PM

    That PI on Donte Whitner on the opening Saint drive was pretty weak. I guess DBs are not allowed to stand on the field if the offensive player wants to go where they are.

  4. numberoneinthehoodg says: Jan 14, 2012 4:45 PM

    If the 9ers keep it close at halftime, maybe we have a new mania, smithmania.

  5. wthigooh says: Jan 14, 2012 4:48 PM

    Saints just lost 2 players to concussions in 1 drive.

  6. vanmorrissey says: Jan 14, 2012 5:17 PM

    Niners brought their can of WA out, they are just clocking the Saints on every tackle. Another forced fumble off the kickoff from the last TD. NO has the offense to come back but this defense is lights out.

  7. zn0rseman says: Jan 14, 2012 5:45 PM

    The Saints offense is explosive, on turf, at home, with the refs giving them two free yards for every first down, and a few free first downs.

  8. tatum064 says: Jan 14, 2012 7:57 PM

    Something is about to give alright.

    The Saints season, if they dont get this 2:00 drive…what a score by Alex Smith….

  9. IMG says: Jan 14, 2012 11:13 PM

    garyman1 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 4:29 PM
    If the 49ers can be beat New Orleans, they will have made a believer out of me.

    I believe we have a convert here

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