Sunday night appetizer: 49ers vs. Saints

January, 8, 2012
1/08/12
8:51
PM ET
The NFL divisional playoff matchups are set and I'm very much looking forward to visiting San Francisco 49ers headquarters beginning Tuesday.

The matchup between the 49ers' defense and the New Orleans Saints' offense will be in focus all week.

While the 49ers have given up 12 pass plays of 40-plus yards, fifth-most in the league, they've also exacted a high price for downfield throws.

The chart, provided by John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information, shows how the Saints' Drew Brees and the 49ers' defense fared on throws traveling at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. Asterisks denote league-leading totals. Note that QBR figures are relatively high because these plays, by definition, exclude sacks.

The touchdown and interception totals are striking.

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