It's going to take me a while to recover from that one emotionally, but guess what, we have more football on Thursday! The Sainst beat the 49ers 23-20 thanks to a Garrett Hartley field goal with just over 2 minutes left to tie, and another Hartley field goal as time expired. The win gives the Saints an 8-2 record and they will root for the Patriots on Monday night to give them a two game lead in the NFC South. The game featured a few very questionable calls, including a roughing call on Brees late that possibly would've given the 49ers the victory if not called. The 49ers got their share of beneficial calls too. Regardless, it's clear that the better team won this game. Much to my surprise the Saints dominated both lines of scrimmage. Below are my bullets on the game:
Garrett Hartley deserves a game ball. Despite catching heat all week and watching the Saints bring in competition this week to light a fire under him, he drilled a 42 yarder under immense pressure to tie the game and another 31 yarder to give the Saints the win. So clutch. Happy for him.
The Saints held Frank Gore to 48 yards on 13 carries. If you take away one 24 yarder, he had 12 carries for 24 yards. Overall the 49ers had just 81 yards rushing. That is the blueprint on how to beat them. Epic performance by the D in the trenches.
The 49ers had just 195 yards of offense. That's it.
The Saints had 3 horrific turnovers. A bad muffed punt by Lance Moore at the Saints' 10 that gifted a touchdown, a bad interception by Brees on a terrific play by Ahmad Brooks (he's done this to Brees before) and a fumble out of the end zone by Corey White stretching for a possible pick six. The lone 49ers' turnover was that pick. Somehow the Saints survived this by being the better team.
How often do the Saints score two touchdowns, by Josh Hill and Jed Collins? Ha.
The only player on San Fran's offense that gave the Saints trouble was Anquan Boldin. I have to had it to him he was great on timing routes and tough moving the chains with his possession receiving.
Jabari Greer injured his ankle/knee/leg on a pass break up and is likely out for the season, I'd have to assume. Brutal injury. Best wishes to a great player and an even better person. I hope we see him on the field again. That was a perfect example of how cruel the football gods can be.
The Saints rushed for 92 yards and 4.0 yards a pop. The offense is really close to peak performance now thanks to the offensive line performing so much better.
Lance Moore had a horrible drop on a 3rd down play and a costly fumble. A bad game for him.
Drew Brees was LIT UP by NaVorro Bowman and even left with a bloody mouth after a closeline that could have sealed the game in favor of the 49ers. Instead the Saints got a flag. Fortunate.
Colin Kaepernick clearly grounded from the end zone late and the referees refused to throw a flag and give the Saints a safety. That was a horrible no call.
Another WHALE of a game by Akiem Hicks, 7 tackles and a sack. Cam Jordan was very good too.
Travaris Cadet was probably my special teams player of the week before those field goals by Scooter. He actually had an 82 yard return.
This was a hard fought physical battle. The Saints will be beat up coming into the Falcons game in Atlanta on Thursday. I hope they can recover in time to be ready. They only sacked Brees once and hit him twice but man that Bowman hit on Brees looked brutal.
The offensive line played their best game of the season, bar none. Amazing performance from top to bottom against an excellent defense.
Can't enjoy this one for too long folks, it's officially FALCONS HATE WEEK!