Just for the record, the San Francisco 49ers will defeat the New Orleans Saints today.
The stats and hype indicate a Saints win by a score of 49-28 or some such blowout. Forget the stats; ignore the hype.
Good defense beats good offense as surely as good pitching beats good hitting. The 49ers have great defense; the Saints, great offense. The same principle applies.
San Francisco's special teams are a game changer. The 49ers can score by reaching the other team's 40 yard line because the field goal kicker is a long-distance machine. They keep the other team pinned deep in its own territory because the punter is lights out. They've got a kick returner who can take it to the house.
In a normal 49er game, the Saints would be able to roll up 350 yards without entering the red zone. And, if they do, they'll discover that the 49er defense steps it up a notch in those situations.
On offense, the 49ers have the inconvenient truth, a pair of dangerous receivers, and an intelligent quarterback who reminds Noman of Bob Griese. Nothing too flashy; just a guy in command of a great team.
The Saints bombard the opposition with deep passes. The 49ers force lots of interceptions and turnovers.
Finally, even though New Orleans is a great city, San Francisco is a greater one.
Enough said. 49ers 29 - Saints 23. Noman wants to say 49ers 19 - Saints 13, but doesn't have the nerve.
In the day's other game, all Noman can say with certainty is that the Broncos will have more people around the globe praying for them than any other team in the history of sports.