It was back and forth in the first half, but Drew Brees made some mistakes and the Saints ended up losing the game. Overall this looked like one of Brees early games this season. He still threw for 267 yards and 3 scores, but also threw two costly interceptions that both went back for touchdowns. Take away those two plays and the Saints very likely win this game. To continue the similarities to the start of the year, the running game was non existent in this one. Not shocking considering how good San Fran’s defense is, but this team needs some more balance to win. Chris Ivory was the leading rusher with just 34 yards. The return of Darren Sproles was much as what was expected. He was a non factor as a runner, but ended up with 7 catches and 65 yards. That actually led the team. You won’t win many games with a high powered passing attack when your RB leads the team in receiving.
The Niners did a good job of defending the Saints weapons down field. They obviously caused the two picks, one of a tip ball. Colston was held to just 36 yards, Graham 33, and Moore led them all with 61 on three catches. It was one of the lowest performances all year from the Saints offense with just under 300 yards in all. For once, the offense was the main reason New Orleans lost, not the defense.
The defensive side of the ball wasn’t great, but overall were pretty solid. They gave up just 17 points, with the offense giving up 14 themselves. Kaepernick wasn’t really close to as dominant as he was last week against Chicago. He was solid, but ended with 231 yards in the air with one TD along with a pick. Solid, but not spectacular. Frank Gore was much the same with 19 rushes for 83 yards. Much like the Saints, the Niners top receivers were bottled up much of the game. Crabtree, Moss, and Davis all had forgettable performances, with Delanie Walker leading the team in receiving.
This puts New Orleans in a tough situation, but they aren’t out of the playoff chase yet. The Bucs lost this week as well to leave them at 6-5 and have a very hard schedule going forward. The Seahawks fell to the Dolphins and may lose both of their top corners for 4 games for taking adderrall. They are appealing but Eric Wright just lost a similar appeal. Next up for the Saints is another very tough challenge when the travel to Atlanta. They already beat this team a few weeks ago, but it will be a serious challenge to defeat this team again.