LOCATION: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
BETTING LINE: Saints (-4.5)
FINAL LINE SCORE
|New Orleans Saints||14||17||0||10||41|
|San Francisco 49ers||3||17||3||0||23|
New Orleans Saints
28/39, 323 yards, 3 TDs
15 rushes, 158 yards, 1 TD
5 receptions, 73 yards, 2 TDs
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
7 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
PLAYER STATS: 15 rushes, 158 yards, 2 receptions, 13 yards, 2 total TD
Mark Ingram in the past two weeks has struggled to hold onto the ball resulting in a loss of carries. This week he responded with an average 10.5 yards per carry, including a 75-yard house call in the first half to give the Saints’ offense a boost. He ended the day with 158 yards and contributed to a total 245 yards rushing from backs on the day. Although he split carries with Tim Hightower this week, he made the most of his opportunity and instilled confidence from his head coach once again. Look for the Saints to continue balanced playcalling and for Ingram to get the carries necessary to make a difference.
San Francisco 49ers
24/39, 398 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
10 rush, 59 yards
6 receptions, 106 yards
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
11 total tackles, 1 sack
New Orleans Saints Key Position Ratings
RUNNING BACKS: (9.5 out of 10)
The New Orleans Saints used a running back committee against a weak 49ers’ defense in Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower combined for a Saint’s best 245 yards on the ground and three touchdowns (1 receiving) to lead the Saints to a .500 record and keep them in the NFC South race. Playing near flawless, Saints’ fans should be excited about a balanced offense looking forward.
DEFENSIVE LINE: (7 out of 10)
The Saints’ struggled to contain Colin Kaepernick in the pocket for the first half and only generated one sack. Although Kaepernick was shifty in the pocket, he still had all day to throw resulting in his best outing since returning to the starting job. Look for Sheldon Rankins to get back into the swing of things and help the Saints’ defensive line in the near future.
LINEBACKERS: (8 out of 10)
New Orleans’ linebackers stepped up and shutdown the 49ers’ run game early. Although Kaepernick had a field day throwing the ball, they were not at fault as they kept him from escaping out of the pocket for the majority of the day. Linebacker Nathan Stupar made a game changing play for the second week in a row as he forced a fumble at the goal line to swing momentum in the Saints’ favor.
New Orleans traveled to Levi’s Stadium in hopes of climbing to .500 after an 0-3 start. Coming off of a bye week, the 49ers and Chip Kelly were looking for their second win of the season.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints’ offense came into the game firing on all cylinders with a balanced offense and carried it to the west coast to put up 41 points against a weak 49ers’ defense. The Saints’ backs combined for 245 yards on the ground and handled the time of possession from kickoff to the end of the game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints struggled to generate a pass rush for the eighth time this season and allowed Kaepernick to get nearly 400 yards through the air. Although they took a step back, they still managed to force turnovers when it counted and held San Francisco to only 23 points.
For the 49ers, their struggles continued on both sides of the ball. Chip Kelly should be excited to see Kaepernick have some success throwing the ball, but his quarterback still struggled with defenders in his face. Also, without the presence of Carlos Hyde in the backfield the 49ers struggled to run the ball, keeping their offense one dimensional. On defense, they had no answers for the Saints’ weapons as Drew Brees won in Drew Brees fashion. With a balanced offensive gameplan, the Saints were nearly unstoppable leaving the 49ers with even more questions. It looks as if the 49ers must start thinking about next season.
Even with the Saints’ struggles on defense, New Orleans is a team to keep an eye on as they continue to compete with the NFC South. With four key divisional games coming up, the NFL will see if the Saints can be the real deal this season.
San Francisco 49ers
OFFENSIVE LINE: (8 out of 10)
The 49ers’ offensive line gave Colin Kaepernick more than ample time to throw the ball and it resulted in a 400-yard outing for their quarterback. With Carlos Hyde missing from the lineup, Kaepernick was thrown into a position where he had to be the face of the offense and the offensive line gave him the time to do so for the most part.
DEFENSIVE LINE: (5 out of 10)
The 49ers were banged up on the defensive line but still under-performed. The Saints managed to pick up 246 yards on the ground, almost 75 yards more than the 49ers average per game, and only recorded one sack on the day. The Saints virtually moved the ball on every drive and the defensive line could not stop the Saints’ offense to give Kaepernick a chance.
SECONDARY: (5 out of 10)
Drew Brees sat in the pocket and picked apart nearly every defender on Sunday. Picking out matchups, he hit 10 different players with at least one catch. The 49ers have struggled to cover the run, which in part keeps the secondary guessing for most of the game, but the secondary still failed to keep the Saints’ offense in check. Looking forward, the 49ers must start keeping in mind for next season.