Drew Brees was the one to do it.
Brees and the New Orleans Saints bested
Forty-one weeks since their disappointing Super Bowl defeat in the same dome, the 49ers fell in close fashion again. Some of the repercussions: San Francisco (6-4) now has as many losses this season that he had all of last, while New Orleans (8-2) now has more wins than it had all of 2013. The Saints have won seven of their last games against the 49ers, including their 31-21 loss here last November.
With 2:06 left, Kaepernick and his offensive unit started from their own 20-yard line but went three-and-out. Kaepernick being sacked on the first play for an 11-yard loss created a deficit in yardage that he couldn’t make up.
Brees got his own shot with 1:41 showing on the game clock. He dissected a 49ers pass defense that had lost top cornerback
Brees threw for 305 yards and a score, representing his 40th consecutive game with at least 200 yards through the air.
The game was a scoreless one until a minute remained in the first quarter. After handing off to Mark Ingram for a 15-yard run and finding Robert Meachem for a 44-yard pass-and-catch, Brees tossed the ball three yards to tight end Josh Hill for a touchdown. The drive, New Orleans’ longest of the season, spanned 11 plays, 97 yards and nearly seven minutes of game clock.
The 49ers offense, meanwhile, went three-and-out on each of its first three possessions and didn’t record a first down in the first quarter. With that said, a six-yard toss from Kaepernick to
San Francisco was soon forced to punt away its fourth possession – but the team would keep the ball. Special teamer
Two plays later, after a failed Jim Harbaugh challenge on an incompletion in the end zone to wideout
Kaepernick wasn’t so pinpoint thereafter. Three passes after the Boldin touchdown, he was picked off by Corey White when looking for wideout
Dawson’s three-pointer represented the second longest of Dawson’s career; he executed a 56-yard attempt as a member of the Cleveland Browns on five years ago to the day, on Nov. 17, 2008.
San Francisco’s lead didn’t last long.
New Orleans’ Travaris Cadet returned Dawson’s next kickoff 82 yards down the sideline. Fullback Jed Collins scored on a one-yard touchdown plunge three plays later to give the Saints a four-point edge entering halftime.
On 3rd-and-4, linebacker
This interception was Brees’ first in 150 pass attempts at the Superdome.
Three plays after it,
One week after throwing for 91 yards and an interception, Kaepernick threw for 127 yards and two touchdown passes. The scores went to familiar targets in Davis (eight) and Boldin (three), who have caught all 11 of Kaepernick’s touchdown tosses this season. Davis was cleared to play after suffering a concussion in the Week 10 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The well-designed latter play put the 49ers back on top, 17-14, early into the third quarter. A 29-yard field goal by Dawson gave them breathing room early into the fourth.
San Francisco would need it. New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley’s 23-yard field goal shrank the lead back to three points with 7:50 showing on the scoreboard.
Hartley tied the score at 20 with a 42-yard field goal on a late drive that was extended on a significant referee call. On 3rd-and-2 with three-plus minutes remaining, Brooks’ would-be sack of Brees forced a fumble, which fellow linebacker
"Talking to Ahmad, he didn't think it was a penalty," Harbaugh said postgame.
Two integral 49ers – Brown and left guard
San Francisco visits Washington to face the Redskins for “Monday Night Football” in Week 12.