We talked quite a bit about the playoff game between the 49ers and Saints in Friday’s NFC South chat. Readers were able to coax me to coming about as close to making a prediction as I ever do, and you can see some of that below.
But we also took some time to address some questions on the Buccaneers, Falcons and Panthers. Let’s go to some of the highlights.
Georgie T. (New Orleans): We've heard about the prowess of the 49er's defense but, reasonably speaking, how can any defense of late cover all of the Saint's weapons? As I see it, there aren't enough defensive players at 11 to stop New Orleans potent offense. If they pass rush Brees will hit any one of his receivers. If they fall back into coverage the Saints have 3 outstanding running backs. It's very hard to defense all of that.
Pat Yasinskas: I think it's impossible for any defense to be expected to shut down the Saints. They're going to score points. I think the bigger question is if the Niners can score enough to win.
Sean (Las Vegas): I think the Saints can rush for at least 80 yards. If Payton continues to run it's inevitable the LB/safety start cheating and that's when Brees hits the PA pass. I just don't see the 49ers being able to shut Saints down. Saints look to be out to prove they can play anywhere at anytime this year.
Pat Yasinskas: I'm on the same page. I just don't think Niners can score enough to stay with Saints.
Glenn (Dirty Jerz): Will you be shocked when the 49ers Win?
Pat Yasinskas: No, I wouldn't say that. Niners are definitely a good team and could win this game. I just think Saints will win because I don't think anybody can beat them in a shootout right now.
Frank (New Orleans): Why did Wade Phillips pull out of Buc's coaching search?
Pat Yasinskas: I think Houston made it really attractive for him to stay.
Tim (Charlotte): You stated that if Chud left, you think Mike Shula would be promoted to OC. Do you think he learned enough from Chud in one season to replicate the Panthers stellar offensive season? He obvioulsy worked closely with Cam Newton, is he the best man for the job? (Other than Chudzinski, obviously)
Pat Yasinskas: I think so. I think they'd keep the offense exactly the same. Shula's been a coordinator before and has a great relationship with Cam.
Drew (ATL): Hey Pat, great blog as always. Here’s my question: What do the Falcons need to do to shore up our O/L? I think everyone knows it was bad this year.
Pat Yasinskas: Get a left tackle and a right guard. Oh, probably a center too. Left tackle is going to be tough without a first-round pick. The crop of free agents right now isn't looking great.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.