CBS 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on CBS 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – So I’m driving into the station today listening to sports talk radio when I was reminded why I spend more time listening to news. Some Niner hack actually said, “The Saints found out first-hand that defense still wins championships!” Really?

The only thing that stopped Drew Brees was the clock. By the last five minutes both defenses pulled an Elvis. They LEFT the building. Probably wanted to beat the traffic. 462 yards passing yards allowed doesn’t exactly qualify as a shutdown game for Fangio’s resume. Let’s face it. This time, it was Alex Smith who bailed out the defense, not the other way around.

The 49ers defense has been a stellar unit all season. But we’ve seen a couple of quarterbacks find holes. Remember Tony Romo? The 49ers secondary is susceptible to giving up big plays to good players. The Giants happen to have the best trio of receivers in the league and a red-hot quarterback. And since the Giants defense is better than the Saints, I’m thinking a bigger dose of Frank Gore is just what the 49ers need to win this game.

In their first meeting, Gore carried just six times for zero yards before packing it in with an injury. Harbaugh is great at ignoring questions about health. Gore averaged 53 yards per game from week 10 though the rest of the regular season. But last week, he looked like Gore of mid-season. Frank Gore needs to run to keep Eli Manning off the field and to keep the Giants trio of pass rushers from decapitating Alex Smith. Ground control to Major Jim: Run the football.

I found it curious that the bell cow didn’t ring more often against New Orleans. Just 13 carries for 89 yards. I’ll take 6.8 any day. And after Alex’s breakout number against the Aints, do you still think Perry Fewell will load the box? Better save one of those guys for Vernon, eh Perry?

It’s time for the cow to come home.

See you on TV.

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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