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The 2010 NFL betting action continues on Monday night, as the second week of action finishes up with the duel at Candlestick Park between the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers. Below is our free monday night pick and anylasis for this big week 2 MNF matchup.
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers (+6)
Monday, September 20th
8:30 ET, Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
Saints Notes: The Saints are coming off of a very ho hum 14-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings in which they really didn't play the role of the defending champs all that well. It wasn't a particularly great game for the Vikes, a bunch that might not legitimately be a playoff team this year. If the Saints are going to play like this all season long, they are going to be in for a rude awakening when they run into road games and games against some of their best teams on the schedule. QB Drew Brees only threw for 237 yards, which would only put him on a pace for 3,792 yards for the season. New Orleans fans are going to be looking for at least 275 yards from their franchise quarterback. One TD pass and no picks is a good ratio, but more points than that are going to need to hit the scoreboard to get this team back into the playoffs with a shot of winning the NFC in the regular season. RB Reggie Bush really didn't touch the ball that much either, which is a bit of surprise considering his explosive nature. Bush only had two carries for 14 yards and five receptions for 33 yards on the day. RB Pierre Thomas is clearly going to be the important man in the backfield this year. He had an admirable day on the ground, carrying the pill 19 times for 71 yards and a TD against one of the stoutest defensive fronts in all of football. New Orleans' defense only led Minnesota get into the end zone one time, a trend which needs to keep up if the offense is going to struggle this much.
49ers Notes: 49ers HC Mike Singletary called a 31-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks a dose of "good medicine" in the media this week, and he is insistent that that medicine is going to be what cures his team from the media hype at the start of the season. Nothing would get the media off of his butt more than a big win on primetime football against the defending champs! In order to do that, the Niners are going to have to perform better in the red zone. In the first half, they had a chance to take a 21-0 lead early, but in three trips to the red zone, San Fran mustered one turnover and two short field goals. Needless to say, it didn't get back to the red zone again and was trampled from there. Where have you gone, Frank Gore? The top back for the 49ers got plenty of touches in Week 1, as he had 17 carries and six receptions. However, a total of 83 yards, 45 of which came in the receiving game just isn't going to cut it. New Orleans is known for having a relatively weak front seven, and if that front seven is going to get exploited, Gore needs to do a lot better than a shade over two yards per carry in this game. Watch for TE Vernon Davis to have himself a stellar outing. The Saints allowed TE Visanthe Shiancoe to tear them up last week, and Davis can do much of the same against a weak middle of the defense as well on Monday. Davis led the team last week with eight receptions and 73 yards.
The Final Word: The Saints need to be very careful in this one. San Fran has woken up several times before in the Singletary era, and its response to his recent tirade in the Seattle media might just be the key to coming out and knocking off the defending champs. The 49ers badly need this one to solidify that they are indeed the top team in the NFC West and that last week's game was a bit of a fluke.
Free Monday Night Football Pick: 49ers 27 – Saints 24