There's been a lot said in the past week about the Saints matchup against the San Francisco 49ers and, considering the New Orleans' recent play, a lot has to do with how the Saints are going to win easily. To be clear, the Saints' offense is miles above the 49ers offense. But to focus on that is to ignore the fact that San Francisco also has one of the best defenses in the league and, what everyone seems to forget, that the Saints have to fly across the country and play outdoors.
The Saints, famously, have never won an away playoff game. They also have struggled this season outdoors, losing to Tampa Bay and struggling against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars (all three teams which are a far cry from the second-seeded 49ers). But what should trouble Who Dat Nation the most is that San Francisco, with their pass rush and talented linebackers, could disrupt Drew Brees just enough to keep the game close so that San Francisco's running game can pound the Saints' less-than-stellar defense into the ground. Really, when you look at a hard statistical breakdown, it actually doesn't look good for the Saints.
This is not to say that the Saints can't win tomorrow — and lord knows we all want to see a possible rematch against the Packers — but don't bet the bank on a blowout. The Saints have the edge in playoff experience and even the best defenses in the league would struggle to contain Brees, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham at the same time. But before we all get overconfident think that this win is in the bag, just remember what happened the last time the Saints traveled to the west coast for a playoff game.