This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Saints matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m., at the Superdome, New Orleans.
49ers FS Eric Reid vs. Saints QB Drew Brees
Tale of the tape
Reid (35): 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, second season, LSU
Brees (9): 6 foot, 209 pounds, 14th season, Purdue
The 49ers’ pass defense has been outstanding, and Reid is one of the big reasons why. Reid does not have an interception since his Week 1 pick against the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo, but he has been very solid in his assignments. The 49ers have allowed an NFL-low 18 pass plays of 20 yard or more this season.
Since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees has thrown for 4,000 yards or more in each of his eight seasons. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in four different seasons. Brees is off to another great start this season, completing 69.6 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and a passer rating of 97.1.
Brees is well aware of Reid.
“If you kind of drew a picture of what you would want a starting free safety to look like in the league, you would probably draw a picture of him,” Brees said of Reid. “That dude is big and fast and physical and he just has a nose for the football.
“The funny thing is he’s from LSU, so I had a chance to kind of keep up with him a little bit while he was playing and LSU. Obviously, he gets drafted to San Francisco, and you’re going, ‘Oh, man, we’ve got to play against this guy.’ But he’s a really good player and has a bright future.”
The 49ers have done as good as any team in limiting Brees, who has four touchdowns and three interceptions for an 87.0 passer rating in the past two head-to-head matchups. Reid last season broke up a Brees pass in a game the Saints won 23-20 with a last-second field goal.
Reid will certainly get tested again on Sunday against New Orleans’ multi-receiver sets.