National Football League
Preview
San Francisco at New Orleans
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 8, 2019
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Saints have already clinched a postseason berth and wrapped up a division title, but they have loftier goals in mind with four games remaining in the regular season. The Saints have the inside track on the top seed for the NFC playoffs and can take another step closer toward the goal against the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.

New Orleans, a winner of three straight and nine of 10, ascended to the No. 1 seed following San Francisco's 20-17 loss at Baltimore last week. "We've got bigger fish to fry," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said after the NFC South title-clinching win over Atlanta on Thanksgiving. "We have a list of goals and objectives. We just want to knock them down one by one, but at the end of the day, let's just keep it simple right now." The 49ers have lost two of four -- both on last-second field goals -- following an 8-0 start to fall into a tie with Seattle atop the NFC West, although the Seahawks own the tiebreaker. "It’s an opportunity for us to prove (we're) the football team that we are," tight end George Kittle said. "This is another opportunity for us to go into someone's house and try to leave with win and that's what our goal is this week."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -2. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE 49ERS (10-2): San Francisco's top-ranked defense, allowing league lows of 250.9 yards overall and 134.3 yards passing, held up well against a Baltimore offense that had averaged 45 points in its previous three games. Linebacker Fred Warner was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month after registering 44 tackles, including four for loss, 3.0 sacks and a pair of critical forced fumbles. The NFC leader in rushing at 148 yards per game, the 49ers received 146 yards and a touchdown from Raheem Mostert last week and got a boost with the return of running back Matt Breida to practice this week. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has registered a passer rating of at least 110.2 in five of the last six games.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (10-2): Brees, who missed five games due to a thumb injury, had one of his lowest outputs of the season with 184 yards passing and a touchdown at Atlanta. Wide receiver Michael Thomas also had a relatively quiet performance with six receptions for 48 yards but he was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month after hauling in 37 catches for 415 yards and a pair of scores in November to boost his league-leading totals to 110 receptions and 1,290 yards. Running back Alvin Kamara has not rushed for a touchdown in seven games but had 31 catches in his last four contests. Cameron Jordan was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording 4.0 sacks for a unit that ranks third against the run (88.6 yards).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Brees has a 100-plus passer rating in 10 of his last 11 at home.

2. Kittle had a season-low two catches last week after amassing a season-best 129 yards the previous week.

3. Saints starting LBs Kiko Alonso (thigh) and A.J. Klein (knee) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

PREDICTION: Saints 19, 49ers 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
San Francisco 10-2 L1 29.1 15.2 5-1 5-1 9-1 0-0 - - 7-1
New Orleans 10-2 W3 24.8 20.7 5-1 5-1 4-1 0-0 - - 8-2
Last Meeting
San Francisco New Orleans
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/6/16 NO 41 SF 23 486 93 393 571 248 323
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Francisco C. Kaepernick 61.5 398 2 1
New Orleans D. Brees 71.8 323 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Francisco D. Harris 10 59 5.9 0
New Orleans M. Ingram II 15 158 10.5 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Francisco Q. Patton 6 106 17.7 0
New Orleans M. Thomas 5 73 14.6 2
Touchdowns Player TD
San Francisco D. Harris 1
New Orleans M. Ingram II 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Francisco J. Garoppolo 69.0 2896 21 10
New Orleans D. Brees 73.8 1791 12 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Francisco M. Breida 109 542 5.0 1
New Orleans A. Kamara 125 587 4.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Francisco G. Kittle 54 687 12.7 3
New Orleans M. Thomas 110 1290 11.7 6
Touchdowns Player TD
San Francisco T. Coleman 7
New Orleans L. Murray 6