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Got his hamstring [injury]. Tried to come
Drew Brees and the Saints are ready to up the ante.A third-straight NFC South title has been wrapped up. Next on the list is a second straight No. 1 overall playoff seed in the NFC Womens Drew Brees Jersey , a goal New Orleans (10-2) can get closer to accomplishing on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers (10-2) visit the site of their last Super Bowl appearance.“We all know what this game means,” Brees said.And so do the Niners, who had the inside track to the top seed until they lost last week at Baltimore.“The more you win, the more people like to say, ‘Isn’t it easier or more relaxing now that you have a good record?'" Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s totally opposite. The more you win in this league, the harder it gets."Especially this week.The Saints have won three straight and nine of 10 as they meet a 49ers team that has dropped two of four after an 8-0 start.For relatively inexperienced QBs like the Niners' Jimmy Garoppolo, such games are as much about an opportunity to grow professionally as to improve prospects for a first-round playoff bye.“With a young team and everything, and myself included, these big games, these big moments ... it’ll only help us going forward Michael Thomas Jersey White ," Garoppolo said. “It’s just about stepping up in the right situation, the right crucial times and just making the plays that are there for you."Saints coach Sean Payton sees San Francisco as “a good test," given the Niners' top-ranked defense, led by a line full of first-round draft picks. And while Garoppolo is an adept passer with proven receivers at his disposal, he's also had the luxury of leaning on a deep and effective running game to slow down opposing pass rushes.“These guys, I'm telling you, just when you watch this team play, defensively and offensively and in the kicking game, they’re as balanced a team" as there is, Payton said.HILL COUNTRYWhile Brees https://www.thesaintslockerroom.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , NFL-leading receiver Michael Thomas and dynamic running back Alvin Kamara remain the Saints'primary producers on offense, third-string QB and utility player Taysom Hill is becoming more of a menace to opponents. In his most recent game, he deflected a punt to set up his short receiving touchdown and later ran for a pivotal 30-yard score.“He’s a factor every week for them, whether it’s at quarterback or any of the positions except for (offensive) line is, I think, the only one I haven’t seen him play," Shanahan said. “He’s an unbelievable player on special teams. There’s no doubt we’re going to see him, we just don’t know exactly how.”RUN, RAHEEM, RUNRaheem Mostert began the year low on the depth chart for San Francisco's running backs but he has been perhaps the Niners' most effective runner. He had a breakthrough game last week with 143 yards and a TD in a loss to the Ravens Drew Brees Jersey White , the biggest rushing day for a Niners back in three seasons under Shanahan. Mostert is second on the team this season with 538 yards rushing — 3 fewer than Matt Breida — and his 5.9 yards per carry are second in the NFL to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson."When Raheem came in, just the way he ran and some of the looks he got. He got some good looks, but then he took advantage of those looks. The way he was going, we just stuck with the hot hand," Shanahan said of the decision to stick with Mostert over starter Tevin Coleman.PRESSURE PACKAGELike the Niners, the Saints have had success taking down quarterbacks. Last week they had nine sacks to bring their season total to 40, led by former California standout Cameron Jordan's career-high four.“He’s extremely strong and very aggressive," Shanahan said of Jordan. "He never turns anything down and keeps coming every game, all year long.”BLANKET COVERAGEThe 49ers have been on an impressive pace when it comes to pass defense but figure to get one of their toughest tests of the season this week. San Francisco is allowing only 134.3 net yards passing per game, nearly 30 yards better than the second-ranked Patriots and on pace for the fewest in the NFL since Miami allowed 114.1 in the strike-shortened 1982 season. A defensive line that ranks second in the league with 45 sacks has played a major part Marcus Davenport Jersey White , but the secondary has also been outstanding, led by cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman's status this week is in doubt with a knee injury, but Ahkello Witherspoon is healthy again and Emmanuel Moseley fared well earlier this season when Witherspoon was hurt.STAYING EASTInstead of flying home after last week's game in Baltimore, the 49ers opted to spend the week in Florida instead to avoid more cross-country flights and another time change. That strategy worked well in September when the Niners spent the week after the opener in Tampa by practicing in Ohio before a 41-17 win at Cincinnati. This is the fifth time since 2011 that the Niners have stayed on the road between games. They won the second contest three times, losing only in 2016 in snowy Chicago after practicing in Orlando.AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this report. Embedded with the Saints on Saturday night, Peter King of Football Morning in America learned that the New Orleans offense had one primary objective against the Eagles.鈥淥ur emphasis in this game is to run at 22 [cornerback Sidney Jones],” Saints coach Sean Payton told his players the night before the game. “He鈥檚 coming off a hamstring, and we don鈥檛 think he can hold up.”On Tuesday, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz shrugged at the decision to go after Jones.“I think that’s something that probably doesn’t get reported on a lot because reporters don’t get embedded with offensive, defensive and special teams鈥?staffs Womens Marcus Davenport Jersey ,” Schwartz told reporters. “I think that’s stuff that goes on all the time. We talk about having different guys that we want to isolate in pass protection or different guys in coverage maybe that are coming off an injury. [If you] have a tight end coming off an injury, they’re going to use this guy to block, but probably not to receive. I think it’s probably a little bit overblown because it goes on all the time. They tested a guy that was coming back from an injury. That’s really not a surprise to us.”Jones has had plenty of injuries since entering the NFL as a second-round pick, who slid from round one due to an Achilles tendon injury suffered during his Pro Day workout in early 2017. Schwartz was asked whether Jones is “too frail to hold up.”“In that game [against the Saints] he didn’t hold up,” Schwartz said. “I can’t speak on anything more than that game. He played some good football for us early in the year. Got his hamstring [injury]. Tried to come back and be available for his team, it did not work out.”Those last five words fairly summarize the Eagles’ season to date. It’s not working out. Injuries have a lot to do with it. There’s still something deeper going on, and it’s not surprising. Teams that win a Super Bowl typically have a tough time mustering the various factors and circumstances necessary to plunge back to 0-0 and to climb the mountain in competition with 31 teams that didn’t just get to the top — and that would consider it a partial win to help keep the team that just stood on the summit from getting there again.