NFL Playoffs Predictions: 49ers Defense Is Key To Beating Saints

The San Francisco 49ers will host the New Orleans Saints on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in the divisional round of the 2012 NFL playoffs. SB Nation's 49ers community, Niners Nation, made their picks on the game -- they think San Fran can win -- but also told us how the 49ers will win and how they'll lose.

Why The 49ers Will Win: The 49ers defense is able to generate a solid pass rush with their front four, which allows them to drop their secondary into coverage and their inside linebackers into depth to cover tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Darren Sproles. The 49ers will win if they can generate a pass rush against Drew Brees and force him to throw before he wants to throw.

Why The 49ers Will Lose: The 49ers will lose if they are unable to turn red zone opportunities into touchdowns. They have had some red zone success lately, but they had a brutal stretch where they couldn't buy a touchdown in the red zone. The 49ers defense can only be expected to contain Drew Brees (as opposed to shutting him down), so field goals will not be enough.

For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area, and for theSaints check out Canal Street Chronicles. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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