I Ching Divisional Round Picks
Regular Season Record: 132-111 Wild Card Round: 2-2
Saturday 4:30 PM EST
Saints @ 49ers +4
Hexagram 37: 家人 The Family
The hexagram of “The Family” stresses the importance of each person fulfilling their individual role. The team that better executes its game plan will be the team that wins this game and executing comes down to each player winning their own little battles on the field each play. Both of these teams have one cohesive unit that has dominated one side of the football all season long. This afternoon we will get the chance to see these elite forces battle against each other all game long.
The 49ers defense finished 2nd in the league in scoring defense allowing just 14.3 points per game, just a tenth of a point behind the Steelers. They gave up 20 or more points just five times en route to their 13-3 season. The Saints scored 34.2 points a game during the regular season, second only to the Packers, and have scored at least 40 points in four straight games including last week’s Wild Card win over the Lions. New Orleans overall has won their last nine games in a row to reach this point.
Often in life and football, the direction of the family or the team comes down to the father or leader. The two strong closed lines on the top of this diagram show the importance of the father’s role in the family. Drew Brees gives his team the edge in this game. He has the Saints offense humming and I don’t think even the vaunted San Francisco defense will be able to slow it down.
The 49ers defense is stronger against the run (1st in the league) than against the pass (16th), and can be exploited by great quarterbacks. The home field advantage is expected to heavily favor the 49ers, especially considering the Saints’ 3-2 record outdoors vs. 11-1 inside a dome. However, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s and no wind to speak of in San Francisco today, there is no real reason to think the weather or conditions will affect Drew Brees and the Saints offense. As I think it will be very difficult for 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith to match Brees in points, I predict the Saints to go marching on toward a potential Week 1 rematch with the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.