The San Francisco 49ers will need their linebackers to cover the New Orleans Saints well on shorter passes. They will need to remain opportunistic on intermediate passes. They will aso need to guard against the long ball.
A quick look at 2011 regular-season passing stats for Alex Smith and Drew Brees shows just how much field the 49ers must cover when they face the Saints in a divisional-round playoff game Saturday. The chart breaks down both players' stats by how far their passes traveled past the line of scrimmage.