At one point the Saints led 14-7 with under a minute left in the first half and were getting close to field goal range for a possible chance at a 17-7 lead at the break. Then, Drew Brees threw a horrible interception that was easily returned for a touchdown to make it a 14-14 tie at half. 6 sacks and another pick six later, the Saints lost 21-31. The game was largely a disaster in the second half, but it didn't get out of hand until the Saints turned one dimensional and the 49ers' pass rush pin their ears back. There was some questionable officiating, but make no mistake, the 49ers were just the better team. That defense is extremely talented and I wouldn't be surprised to see them go far. Below are my thoughts on the game bullet style.
- Having Zach Strief or Charles Brown would have made blocking the 49ers hard enough. Bryce Harris started the game only to get knocked out for the duration in the first quarter. William Robinson would play the rest of the game at right tackle and to his credit he played ok until the Saints started throwing every play. Then, it was open season on Drew Brees.
- The right tackle issue was alone to blame for poor protection, de la Puente, Grubbs and Bushrod were all poor in pass protection too.
- This 49ers defense is just scary good. They fly to the football, they're physical and they hit like mules. Both Colston and Moore were knocked out of the game briefly, and frankly I'm surprised they came back.
- The defense played generally pretty well, but that drive that started from the 6 when the score was 21-28 was the back breaker. This loss is mostly on Brees, don't get me wrong, but a stop there at least gave the Saints a chance. After that long drive that ended in the 49ers up 2 scores, it was pretty much over.
- I'm pretty sure this is the first time all season the Saints didn't give up 400 yards to the opposition. So that's good. Frank Gore finished with 83 yards on 19 carries thanks to some big gains late, but for the majority of the game the Saints did a terrific job of shutting him down.
- Cameron Jordan played well, especially rushing the passer. The 49ers' right tackle Anthony Davis is a mammoth in size but Cam beat him repeatedly with his speed and athleticism.
- Broderick Bunkley was ejected late for a miniature version of the Ndamunkong Suh stomp. Just a really stupid move letting his emotions get the best of him. Sadly, that'll probably cost him playing next week.
- The Saints got no sacks despite a decent pass rush. Give Kaepernick credit for his escapability. He's definitely a better quarterback than Alex Smith in my opinion. So much more upside.
- When the Saints became one dimensional, Aldon Smith, Jason Smith and Ahmad Brooks took turns positively mauling the Saints' line. The Saints may need to invest in some better depth with rookies next year.
- The Saints did mostly well in coverage, but missed some critical tackles throughout.
- Jimmy Graham played less due to the need for David Thomas, a better blocker, in protection. I'm concerned that will remain the case for the next two weeks if Zach Strief doesn't return.
- Speaking of Jimmy Graham, another drop. Man that is getting so old.
- Pierre Thomas had 1 carry for 0 yards. That's right, one touch. Jed Collins had two touches. What the hell?
- Chris Ivory did a far better job running the ball than Mark Ingram and should have gotten more looks on the ground.
That's all I got. A brutal loss, but the Saints get to face the Falcons in 4 days so hopefully we can get the bad taste out of our mouths quickly and claw our way back to .500 again.
...Ok. We know Brees fu%ked up. Getting that 'Captain Obvious' statement out of the way, I blame the coaching. Goddamnit, if Benson doesn't get Sean Payton back in the building, we're screwed. I thought this game was RIPE to unleash Pierre Thomas. It's like the coaches said "The '9ers will kill P.T. again, so let's take him out of the equation." Bullshit! Once again, the plain & simple reason we lost to these M.fs. was points off of turnovers. PERIOD!!! 13 in last season's playoff loss & 14 yesterday. Just CAN'T give this kind of team in the 49ers that kind of leverage. Brees held on to the ball way too long on most of the sacks he took. Quick slants, draw/delayed runs & screens weren't in the offensive game-plan; which was/is just retarded, in my opinion. Now we're banged-up even more & on a super short week. Sorry, but I'm taking the Foulcun+s' on Thursday. POO-DAT'!!!!!!!!!
This game is on Brees and on the gamecalling
First Brees: He had 2 bad passes in a row. 1 LB missed and 1 high throw (Great Jump by Colston, still too high). Instead of all going wrong for the 49ers in the first half excet for the 1st score drive, they now put the saints in even a worse half ending place.
Then the gamecalling... It started: 16 dropbacks 1 hit, 0 hurried, 0 sacks. After that Brees had 1 dropback where he was not hit, hurried or sacked. The game became too one dimensional. That is a saints team we saw the first 6 games of the season.
I do not blame the defense. I think they played good.They gave up big plays but as customary, only 17 points given up. Without the offense screwing up this was a Win.
Also the officiating was not in favour of the saints at all! The pass interference from Morgan could as easily have been pass interference ON Morgan making it 1st and goal and 28-28 soon after (if I am not mistaken).
This loss hurts more because it was: a. winnable b. several teams ahead of the Saints in the wildcard chase lost earlier. IMO, blame could be assessed: Brees: 70%, (the pick 6 before halfitme was a killer; the other pick 6 off the tipped ball to Colston was just bad luck). Defense: 15%, couldn't get the 40-whiners off the field on 3rd & long by regressing into arm tackling, bad angles, Officiating: 15%, the whiners held so much, if the refs called all of them, they would have gotten corpal tunnel; missed several defensive pass interference calls on SF and one obvious offensive PI call on Moss in the endzone. The Saints playoff chances are now in sudden death; without a few other teams losing a couple more games, I'm not sure 10-6 wil get the Saints in. Looks like Goodell can stamp Mission Accomplished on his Saints file for 2012
@MarijnPessers My glaring indictment of the defense was the 40-whiners got the ball with around 3 minutes left in the THIRD quarter, and the Saints offense didn't get the ball until there was 9:50 left in the FOURTH quarter!! There is plenty of blame to go around for the Saints yesterday!
I am also acknowledging the 49ers defense was good, but the Saints should have been better. Also it irritated me that after the game review on NFL.com the first thing they talked about was Kaepernick about how good he was. I think he is not bad for his second start, but he was not an influence into the turnout of the game any more then any other NFL starter QB would.. though he is definitely better then Sanchez.