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It's guaranteed, 49ers will have hands full with the Saints

San Francisco is coming off an ugly loss in its opener and now has to try to stop Drew Brees and the Super Bowl champs.

September 19, 2010|By Sam Farmer

It looks like a guarantee. It sounds like a guarantee. But, Coach Mike Singletary says, he didn't necessarily guarantee his San Francisco 49ers would shut down New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in their matchup Monday.

"I just said we would stop him," said Singletary, whose franchise is 0-4 when facing the Saints star.

Already, the stakes are high for the 49ers, looking to avoid their first 0-2 start in six years. Widely regarded as the favorite in the NFC West, San Francisco was clobbered by Seattle in the opener, 31-6 — failing to score a touchdown for the first time in 19 games — and gave up 28 points over a nearly seven-minute span.

"It doesn't taste good. It doesn't feel good," said 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who had two interceptions against the Seahawks. "I think you've got to try and make it a positive, but it hurts."

The Singletary proclamation came during an interview with broadcast partner KPIX, when the coach reached a boiling point. The host asked him about trying to stop Brees, and the coach said: "We will not try to stop Drew Brees. We will stop Drew Brees."

When asked about trying to move the ball on New Orleans' defense, Singletary said: "We will not try to move the ball against the New Orleans defense. We will move the ball on the Saints defense, and we will score."

That's something Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings couldn't do in the second half of the NFL's opening game, when the Saints posted a 14-9 victory in a rematch of last season's NFC championship game.

In the opener, the Saints didn't commit a turnover and gave up one sack to the team that led the league in that department in 2009. Still, New Orleans scored its fewest points in a victory in four-plus seasons under Coach Sean Payton, and the offense cooled after the crisp opening drives of the first and third quarters.

Two years ago, when he last faced San Francisco, Brees threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-17 victory at home. A year earlier, in San Francisco, he burned the 49ers for 336 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-10 victory.

The 49ers have lost five in a row to the Saints, an abrupt departure from their pre-2002 days, when they were both in the NFC West and San Francisco routinely won the matchup.

San Francisco is 22-10-1 at home against New Orleans, but that's deceptive, seeing as the 49ers have lost eight of the last 10.

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