A record-breaking season takes the Saints to San Francisco, where Drew Brees and their high-octane offense will be put to the test against not just the league's top defense, but one of the toughest place for dome teams to win.
Wind-swept Candlestick Park has been the Waterloo for several playoff teams in the past, and while these aren't the 49ers that hoisted up five Lombardi Trophies in the 80's and 90's, first year head coach Jim Harbaugh has worked miracles. He has turned a perrennial loser into the NFC's second seed in a single season.
Tomorrow's game will test the theory that the Saints are a great dome team that can be exposed when exposed to the elements. Two of New Orleans three losses during the regular season came outdoors, while all three came on the road.
One positive going into this game for the Saints is the return of their running game. With Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles combining to give Brees option in the backfield, as well as the passing attack, even a poor weather day should give New Orleans dimension to their attack.
The biggest question mark will be the defense. The 49ers have stopped every offense they've faced this season, holding opponents to just two touchdowns on average. The Saints defense have relied on their offense to keep them in the game. They may not have that luxury tomorrow.