SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints calls signs out during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 20 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The second round of the NFL Playoffs begins today. What looks like the best game on paper leads things off. The Saints head to California to take on perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the 2011 season, Jim Harbaugh's 49ers. This provides a textbook matchup between two strengths, New Orelans' elite offense against San Francisco's elite defense.
I like the Saints in this one. I think it is very difficult to pick against Drew Brees. As good of a job as Jim Harbaugh has done with Alex Smith, I think this is where Smith's carriage turns into a pumpkin. The Niners have done a great job putting Smith into good positions. In this game, he is going to have to elevate his game for his team to win. San Francisco has a good defense, but Brees is going to put points on the board. I am not convinced Smith is capable putting up the kind of points he needs to.
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