2012 NFL Playoffs: Why 49ers WR Michael Crabtree May Be The X-Factor vs The New Orleans Saints.

By Robert D. Cobb

San Francisco, CA – With the San Francisco 49ers set to play the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round at Candlestick Park, one player who may have an impact could be wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Crabtree, a third-year player selected tenth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech, may play a key role in how the 49ers offense attacks the suspect Saints defense downfield.

Crabtree appears to have developed a real chemistry with quarterback Alex Smith as he would lead the 49ers in receiving with 874 yards, catches with 72 and yards per reception with 12.1 during the regular season.

Crabtree would also lead the 49ers in targets with 114.

For the 2011-12 regular season, the Saints defense gave up the third most yards passing at 259.8 yards a game. New Orleans also ranks 12th in the league in rushing yards allowed, giving up 108.6 yards a game.

Look for San Francisco to attack New Orleans downfield off play-action with Crabtree, since the Saints will have to honor the threat of Pro Bowl running back, Frank Gore.

And look for Crabtree to play a factor in deciding the outcome one way or another.

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