The New Orleans Saints defeated the San Francisco 49ers (27-13) in a scrappy NFL game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sunday.
The 49ers started off on the front foot by making a touchdown from the receiver Brandon Aiyuk. That was followed by a 32-yard field goal from Robbie Gould, which saw the 49ers race into a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Saints hit back with five unanswered scores: three touchdowns from Alvin Kamara and a couple of field goals from Mr. Reliable Will Lutz, which saw them regain the advantage in the riveting NFL contest.
Nevertheless, the 49ers continued to play hard, especially in defense, but were unable to make up any ground on their NFC opponents who - despite a dreadful injury to franchise-quarterback, Drew Brees - held on comfortably for the win.
Five takeaways from New Orleans Saints' Week-10 NFL win over San Francisco 49ers:
On that note, let's take a look at the five big takeaways from this cracking NFL spectacle down in the Bayou.
#1 Jordan Reed took one of the best technical catches ever in the NFL
It might not have meant much in the grand scheme of things, but this one-handed grab from the San Francisco 49ers' tight end Jordan Reed is one of the craziest catches I've ever seen. 99 times out of 100 that one should have ended up on the turf, but it was an incredible effort from the injury-prone, former-Washington man.
#2 New Orleans Saints' pass-rush good form in the NFL continues
After giving up a touchdown on the San Francisco 49ers' first drive of the day, the Saints' D rebounded in style by all but nullifying Kyle Shanahan's inventive ground game from thereon.
The 49ers' running back Javier McKinney was kept to a measly 1.8-yards-per-carry and, as a unit, the rushing-attack was limited to just 49-yards combined.
Demario Davis and CJ Gardner Johnson were the standout performers for the Saints in defense. Davis racked up eight tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Gardner Johnson conjured six tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits before leaving the NFL game with what appeared to be a wrist injury.
If they can keep up this kind of performance in the NFL, this Saints' pash-rush unit could be a match for just about anyone.
#3 Alvin Kamara made the second-most yards from scrimmage in the entire NFL
Having set such incredibly high standards for himself in the NFL this season, this was a bit of a stop-start outing from Saints' Alvin Kamara against the 49ers.
The slippery running-backs' below-par 1.9-yards-per-carry' rushing performance against the 49ers saw him slip behind Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook in the race for most yards from scrimmage honors in the NFL (Kamara: 1134-yards; Cook: 1143-yards).
Kamara did end the afternoon with three touchdowns and 83-yards through the air to his name, so it's not exactly panic stations for Sean Payton's offense just yet, especially with the continued impressive performances of Latavius Murray in the RB2 slot. But,Kamara will need to improve on his sub-50-yards per game rushing stats if he hopes to regain the top-spot from Dalvin Cook.
#4 New Orleans Saints' recent run of good luck with injuries came to a blistering end
After a difficult start to the NFL campaign following injuries to key players, Sunday was the second NFL weekend in succession that Saints' head coach Sean Payton was able to select almost his strongest possible starting-offense and defense.
Unfortunately, whatever bad Joo-Joo had been lingering over Levi's Stadium in CA seemed to follow the 49ers on their travel to New Orleans. By the end of the NFL game - well, 'strongest possible...' seemed like a distant memory.
That was because Kentavius Street flattened Drew Bress. The Saints' quarterback will now miss games, as he has reported broken ribs and a punctured lung (see below).
Tre Quan Smith had to leave the game during the first quarter too after a horror collision left him KO'd on the turf.
And that was not all. Tight-end Josh Hill also left the field with concussion. Marshon Lattimore left the field with an oblique injury and is listed as questionable for next week.
Defensive tackle Malcolm Brown had to retire early with a calf injury; offensive linesmen Andrus Peat and Terron Armstead both required treatment throughout the NFL game, and safety CJ Gardner-Johnson trudged down the tunnel early with a wrist injury too.
Sean Payton will be hoping to have at least some of these players back in training in time for next week's 'grudge' NFL match against division rivals Atlanta Falcons.
#5 The San Francisco 49ers' defense never saw their injury crisis coming
I'll keep this one short, but the 49ers' D deserves a tip of the cap for their efforts on Sunday.
Led by the impressive Fred Warner, Robert Saleh's unit fought hard for the entire 60 minutes. They all but stuffed the Saints' ground game, tackled ferociously, and even without the likes of Nick Bosa, they managed to get pressure on the quarterback and make a real game of it against the Saints.
Teams expecting an easy win against Kyle Shanahan's San Francisco 49ers need to think again; they won't roll over for anyone.Published 18 Nov 2020, 20:02 IST