NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (Birdman) vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Asher Roth)
The 49ers have been a surprising powerhouse in the NFC this season, with quarterback Alex Smith finally finding his groove and a tenacious defense leading the way. That D will be tested by the Saints and Drew Brees, who threw for a record 466 yards against the Lions last week. Def Jam rapper Asher Roth broke down the 49ers' goals for Saturday's matchup, while Cash Money founder Birdman spoke to Billboard.com last week about the power of Drew Brees and his relationship with Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Asher Roth, San Francisco 49ers Fan
For their first playoff game, the 49ers have to play the Saints, probably the hottest team in the league. Do you wish they were playing someone else?
Absolutely not. I want to play the best of the best. To win the Super Bowl, we gotta beat the best of the best; I want to beat the Saints and I want to beat the Packers on the way in. With the Saints coming to town - they're coming to Candlestick [Park], and Candlestick is no joke. I'm just happy they're coming to our place. I'm really happy we're not going to the Superdome.
The Saints' Drew Brees just set a record for passing yards in a single playoff game, while the 49ers are the polar opposite, where they don't have to rely on their quarterback, Alex Smith, as much. Are you more confident with that balanced attack?
I still think, at the end of the day, it's about defense. We're on the flipside: the Packers, the New England Patriots and the Saints all have fantastic offenses, but all are in the bottom half of the league in defense. I know the Niners' red zone scoring is kind of shoddy, but we have a great run game and a phenomenal defense. So we create turnovers, and we don't turn the ball over. We're gonna hope to pressure Drew Brees with our great defense, get him to throw the ball, get him to make some mistakes, and capitalize on those mistakes.
If the Niners win, who would you rather draw in the NFC Championship game, the Packers or Giants?
I'd almost rather draw the Packers just cause they're susceptible. The Giants defense is gearing up, and with the run game going, the Giants are hot… I want to beat the Saints and I want to beat the Packers. We beat the Giants [earlier in the season], so if we don't have to face them again in the playoffs, that's very cool by me.
So are you seeing a Super Bowl victory for the Niners?
Nah, I'm not gonna go there yet. If they do, I would like to see a rematch -- I want Baltimore again [the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 in November]. I want Baltimore again because stuff went down in that game that I wasn't too fond of -- a bunch of really weird calls. So if we can meet in Indianapolis and slug it out with Baltimore again, I think it'd be a great Super Bowl.
Birdman, New Orleans Saints Fan
If the Saints make it to the Super Bowl, is there any team you'd want them to play?
I would like to see New England, because they got a great team and my nephew plays running back -- my brother's son, BenJarvus [Green-Ellis]. I'd love to see him get a ring.
He's had a solid year for the Patriots, with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Yeah, since he's been out of college he's been doing great. He didn't have any fumbles this year. He's really focused, and he takes pride in what he does -- he works real, real hard. He never got caught up in our life, because he wanted to play football. We're all so proud of him, and want him to get that ring. I'm sure he will, with Tom Brady and their coach [Bill Belicheck].
A lot of people are talking about Drew Brees being an MVP candidate. I know Aaron Rodgers has had an insane season, but do you see Brees possibly taking the award?
It could go either way. Aaron did have a great season -- I mean, [the Packers] lost one game this season -- but I think what Brees did with the team, as a unit… it could go either way. To me, both of them deserve it.
So you're thinking Co-MVP, like Peyton Manning and Steve McNair in 2003?
I don't think Drew deserves it over Rodgers, and I don't think Rodgers deserves it over Drew. If it could go both ways, it should.