The Washington Post

NFL Playoffs: Saints vs. 49ers

View Photo Gallery: The Saints bring their high-octane offense to Candlestick.

A classic matchup of contrasting styles kicks off the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday at Candlestick Park.

Led by a record-shattering season from quarterback Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints boast the most productive offense in the league.

Their hosts lean heavily on the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense, which features three All-Pros and grit to spare.

The NFC West champions last hosted a playoff game in 2003. The Saints, meantime, have never won on the road in the postseason in four tries.

So who has the edge with a spot in the conference title game on the line?

More from Washington Post Sports:

Can San Francisco slow down Drew Brees and the Saints?

Alex Smith finally comfortable in San Francisco

NFL playoffs: Divisional schedule, previews

Early Lead: Tebow, Brady, Rodgers, Brees... which QB do you trust?

In Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Saints have a ground game, too

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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