After Further Review: Saints vs 49ers could have major impact on - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

After Further Review: Saints vs 49ers could have major impact on season


Sunday is a big game for the Saints, because it's their next one. That's what the coaches and players will tell you.

It's cliche, but it's also the right approach. Looking past their next opponent is simply not in the Saints best interest.

But I can. And I will.

The impact of today's game is pretty significant.

A win makes the Saints 8-2, with a victory over an NFC playoff contender. NFC wins always help when late-season tiebreakers come into play. It also allows them to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks with a Monday night matchup in two weeks.

A loss drops them to 7-3 and assuming the Seahawks maintain their dominance, makes the top playoff seed, and home field advantage, that much more difficult to attain.

 It also puts NFC South title race a little too close for comfort. Even if the Carolina Panthers lose to New England, a Saints loss would still keep them within a game of the division crown with two matchups looming in the month of December. Of course if both teams win then the one-game would stand anyway.

A win today also adds to the home field allure. If the Saints beat a tough, physical 49ers team inside this building, then their reputation as home field warriors is taken to another level. It's one thing to beat the injured-riddled Dallas Cowboys. It's quite another to knock off what many consider the most physical team in football, who just so happens to be getting healthy defensively at the right time.

It also certainly wouldn't hurt their confidence to beat  a team that's beaten them twice in a row and do it at their own game.  As unfair as I think it is, in this matchup, at least on the national stage, the Saints are considered the 'finesse' team. It's a label to team ever wants to have in the NFL. It's one I'm certain the Saints don't like. A win today would shed that.

A loss and all of sudden this place doesn't seem so bad, at least not for the contenders. And of course it would give the national pundits their ammunition of the Saints inability to win the smashmouth game.

It's a game that will be settled on the field. But when it's over, it'll have a huge impact in the standings and on the Saints future.

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