It wasn’t pretty, but the 49ers left Levi’s Stadium on Sunday with a 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints.
San Francisco hasn’t allowed points in the second half since Week 7, and they’ve now gone six consecutive quarters without allowing a point. They needed some help with a pair of goal line stands, but their defense continues playing at a championship level.
Here are our thoughts and notes from the 49ers’ seventh win of the year:
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– The Saints got second-and-manageable and then a third-and-short to convert a first down to open the game.
– Fred Warner! He punches the ball out from Saints RB Alvin Kamara, and Samson Ebukam dove on it for the recovery. Unbelievable play by Warner to force an early turnover.
– Deebo seems okay. His first catch goes for 20 on a third-and-6. That little drag route is easy money.
– What a catch by Ray-Ray McCloud on a third-and-13. Garoppolo got smoked as he threw it and McCloud hauled it in for a gain of 12.
– Hey look at Kyle Shanahan going for it on a fourth down! Christian McCaffrey plowed ahead for a yard to make it first-and-goal at the Saints’ 10. Nice push by the OL gave McCaffrey just enough room.
– Good decision by Garoppolo to throw it away on a second-and-goal. Protection by the OL has been very good early.
– Near interception on a third-and-goal throw to George Kittle. Disappointing end to the 49ers’ first series with Robbie Gould hitting a short field goal. It’s 3-0, San Francisco.
– Dre Greenlaw is a heck of a player.
– The Saints punted on a fourth-and-1 just shy of midfield. This is a big spot for the 49ers’ offense where a TD could turn this one into a rout.
– There’s the McCaffrey effect. Having him as a checkdown option allowed Garoppolo to escape a sack. Instead of third-and-long, the 49ers get a first down.
– Oof. A deep shot to McCaffrey on third-and-8 falls incomplete, but the RB was open.
– Yikes. Deep shot by Andy Dalton complete in front of Deommodore Lenoir and Talanoa Hufanga. Looked like Hufanga got caught up on play action and got back late.
– T.Y. McGill has been good the last couple weeks. He notched a TFL to close the first quarter.
End of first quarter: 49ers 3, Saints 0
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– Elijah Mitchell’s first carry comes on the team’s second offensive snap of the second quarter.
– The Saints’ defensive line is cooking now and the 49ers look lifeless on offense. What a gross start.
– Sheesh. Everything going wrong for San Francisco now. On a bad punt by Mitch Wishnowsky the Saints were due to take over at their own 48, but then a 15-yard penalty on Sam Womack for not trying to get back in after running out of bounds while covering the punt moves it up to the 49ers’ 38.
– The NFL’s definition of a catch is insane.
– Brandon Aiyuk’s first catch comes about halfway through the second quarter. Almost every player in the Saints’ secondary followed Samuel on a shallow cross. Aiyuk got wide open over the middle for 27 yards.
– Nice cutback by Mitchell on a run that got stopped up inside. He bounced it outside for 12 yards to the Saints’ 6. It’s so valuable for the 49ers to have him back.
– Scary sight for the 49ers with Samuel staying down after a third-down play near the goal line. It looked like he might’ve just gotten the wind knocked out of him and he jogged off the field.
– A fourth-and-goal try from the 1 gets stuffed. Neither McCaffrey nor Samuel were on the field. It looked like a designed QB keep? Maybe? Nobody was open if he was supposed to throw it. Bad play design.
– Jimmie Ward is all over the place. He’s forced a couple incompletions and then stuck Saints WR Chris Olave short of a first down on third-and-10 with New Orleans backed up at their own 1.
– Gosh, Garoppolo got wrecked again and his throw bounced off a defender’s head and into the air. Kyle Juszczyk spiked it to the turf, but that was dangerous and could’ve easily been an interception.
– How deflating. The 49ers finally get a huge run by Mitchell for a touchdown, but it’s called back for a hold on Kittle which felt ticky tack at best.
– Nice work by Garoppolo to get rid of the ball as he was being sacked. He got it to Mitchell for a three-yard gain to bring up a third-and-1.
– Jauan Jennings again! He converts a third down and picks up a 15-yard penalty after a Saints DB whacked him out of bounds.
– Oh what a catch by Jennings for a touchdown! Garoppolo’s throw got tipped and Jennings still made the catch as he was falling down. Not a good pass, but it turns into the 49ers’ first touchdown of the day with 13 seconds left in the first half. It’s 10-0, 49ers.
Halftime: 49ers 10, Saints 0
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– Deebo Samuel as a checkdown option isn’t fair.
– Oh Jimmy, no. He threw maybe the worst interception he’s thrown when his pass to Samuel sailed right to Saints DB Alontae Taylor. The play was nullified by an illegal contact penalty, but goodness that was not a good play by the QB.
– Garoppolo is hurt after a defensive linemen dove at the QB’s knees. He’s staying in, but that looked like the kind of hit that could wind up being a problem.
– Looked like a facemask on Aiyuk went uncalled on a third-down shot to the end zone by Garoppolo. It’s another Gould field goal to put the 49ers up 13-0.
– The Taysom Hill runs haven’t worked great for New Orleans.
– Andy Dalton is 11-for-14.
– It looks like the 49ers’ defense is running out of gas. The Saints are getting whatever they want and San Francisco’s defense is on its heels.
– Elijah Mitchell is already questionable to return with a knee injury, and now Jimmie Ward is down after jumping up and down before a snap. That’s bizarre and probably not good.
– Sam Womack is in for Ward and Dalton targets him right away, but Womack had tight coverage to force a fourth-down.
– The second-half shutout streak lives! The Saints were going for it on fourth-and-5, but their right tackle Ryan Ramczyk jumped offsides. That led the Saints to try a 47-yard field goal, which kicker Wil Lutz pulled wide left. It’s still 13-0, 49ers.
– Now Spencer Burford is limping off the field. This has been a brutal game for the 49ers’ health. It looks like head coach Kyle Shanahan is just trying to get this one to the finish line, but the offense has to stay on the field a little bit to help out a defense that’s already struggling.
End of third quarter: 49ers 13, Saints 0
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– Nice pass breakup by Fred Warner when he smacked Alvin Kamara after a checkdown.
– Jimmie Ward is back in.
– WOW. The Saints go for it on fourth-and-1. The 49ers nearly get a sack. Then Taysom Hill scrambles out of it and throws an incompletion, but there were two penalties on the 49ers’ defense to extend the drive. Unbelievable. Just poor discipline by San Francisco.
– There have been far too many Andy Dalton scrambles.
– Unbelievable. Kamara fumbles at the 1 after Hufanga forced the ball out. The second-half shutout streak lives. What a play by the 49ers’ safety to get the ball when the RB tried reaching for the goal line.
– Another three-and-out for the 49ers backed up against their own goal line. Just a heinous offensive showing for this team.
– Very good job by Hassan Ridgeway to avoid hitting Dalton after he was down. Greenlaw dropped Dalton for a short gain on a scramble and Ridgeaway slid down to avoid hitting the QB and picking up a penalty.
– The 49ers can’t cover Chris Olave.
– Now a holding call in the end zone on Lenoir who was covering … Olave. Easy call. He was all over the WR.
– The second-half scoreless streak SOMEHOW continues. The Saints had a first-and-goal at the 5 and couldn’t punch it in after Nick Bosa got home for his first sack of the game to keep it a 13-0 49ers lead. Absolutely unreal.
– Another third-down catch for Jennings. He’s having an awesome game.
– Jordan Mason is running his tail off.
Final score: 49ers 13, Saints 0