What They Said: 49ers, Saints Breakdown Wild Battle in the Bayou

The San Francisco 49ers were triumphant in a back-and-forth affair over the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers won on a Robbie Gould 30-yard field goal with the clock expiring. See what both locker rooms had to say after San Francisco's 48-46 victory.

Niners Liners

Kyle Shanahan on the 4th down play call on the 49ers drive:

"I'm just trying to call the right play, when you go through a game like that, that was as cool a game as I had been a part of, a lot of emotion. I thought I was going to have to call a number of more plays to get into field goal range, but George Kittle took care of it."

Shanahan on Jimmy Garoppolo's performance:

"He's unbelievable. No matter what happens," Shanahan said of his quarterback. "He's had a lot of good games this year. He has made some times where he's made some mistakes. But he's the same guy every day. Just to be able to deal with that crowd noise and to deal with adversity that went in and out throughout the game, to be able to deal with me, he's the same and a lot of fun to coach."

Shanahan on George Kittle's mentality:

"When one of your best players has the mentality he has that is everything. O-linemen don't have a choice, they have to be tough, but the mentality of your team and toughness of your offense has to do with your skill positions and I think our skill guys like Deebo Samuel, play physical. There isn't a more physical tight end in this league on the run plays and pass plays. It's a pretty tough mentality here."

Shanahan on how the 49ers handled the crowd noise at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:

"I thought we handled the noise great. It wasn't perfect. I thought we were able to overcome it."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo on the 4th down conversion:

"Everyone was calm. I thought we were in a good state of mind when we went out there. We just executed that's really what it comes down to in those situations. Once he caught it and turned around and squared the guy up, I didn't know what he was going to do. I knew the guy was in a bad situation on the other side. George (Kittle) is a beast with the ball in his hands. It's just about getting him the ball in space and letting him go to work."

Garoppolo on the win over the Saints:

"It's good for our team. We win different ways every week. That's what a good football team does. They find a way to win tough games like this, whatever it may be. I think our guys are built for anything, handling the environment; it was pretty loud out there. I thought we did well with it."

CB Richard Sherman on Kittle's performance:

"It starts with him. He's the best tight end in football. He's the most physical. He's not just catching the ball for a good play; he's playing the game to be rude and to bully people. That play he was getting his face mask pulled. Most people would go down and complain about the face mask. Regardless of the face mask pull, he was like, 'I'm going to bully you all the way to the end zone or until you stop me.' That's his mindset. We're thankful to have him because we don't win the game without that play. Jimmy Garoppolo was clutch down the stretch. This is a big time game and he played big time. He played like the best quarterback in football today. He beat a legend… This credit goes to everybody."

Sherman on how the 49ers handled playing in a hostile environment:

"I think everybody was poised. Everybody played well. We could have played better on defense. Offensively, they deal with the hostility more than we do. So, when you score 50 points in the (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) Dome you deserve a lot of credit."

TE George Kittle on the 4th down conversion:

It was a choice route. It was man zone. I had a choice to go in or out, Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne had go-routes which cleared it out for me. He was sitting inside, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to break out. Jimmy gave me the ball and just let me run with it."

WR Emmanuel Sanders on Garoppolo's Week 14 performance:

"Jimmy is a baller. You can look at him and see what kind of player he is. He works hard. When you've got somebody like Jimmy with the personality that he has, in the clutch moments he's not going to fold because of all the hard work that he's put in."

Sanders on his touchdown pass:

"We ran it like five times (in practice). The last time we ran it I actually threw a duck. I was like, 'man, don't throw a duck in the game because that will be on 'ESPN Not Top 10.' I was able to execute today. I know (Coach Kyle Shanahan) was like, 'please do not throw a duck again.' It felt good. It was one of those plays coming into the game that we wanted to be a touchdown. So, it feels good being up here."

Saints Quotes

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on the loss to the 49ers:

"Obviously, it was a back and forth game. Tough loss and so many different momentum swings in that game we probably have to watch the film two or three times to go through the ebbs and flow that they had. Credit San Francisco, they made plays at the end when they needed to. It was a little surprising to me that it ended up being that type of game. I did not think it would be. I thought it would be much lower scoring, but that's the direction it went and you have to score one more."

Payton on Shanahan's play calling to keep the Saints off-balanced:

"There was not a lot of balance with the score. There was not a lot of balance in either defenses. They do a good job. When you can run the ball like they can and obviously, it creates throws and creates misdirection plays, they are challenging. That is why they are one of the better offenses."

QB Drew Brees on the loss:

"I would say today was just a hard-fought football game all the way around. Both sides. Back and forth. They are a great team. We're a great team. We have the ability to be a great team. So this was like a heavyweight boxing match. All game long. That's how I would categorize today. And certainly I know there's some things offensively we can clean up, certain opportunities to extend drives to get more points that would have made a difference in the game honestly when it comes down to it. But you always have that right? You always have those moments and it really comes down to the last four minutes of the game, what happens and you just want a chance to win this. We had a chance. Unfortunately, they were the ones who came out on top today."

QB Taysom Hill on if he thought it would be a high-scoring game:

"No, I didn't. Certainly, you look at the Niners and what they have been able to do defensively this year. We really didn't know what to expect. I felt like we liked our matchups offensively against them. And, I felt like we had a really good game plan going in to handle them up front and doing different things that way. I didn't expect to lose on a last second field goal in the 40s."

CB P.J. Williams on the team's penalties hurting the team:

"It's tough. It's definitely hurting us in a big way. We just have to make sure that we are using our technique and tighten it up, because when we get into the playoffs it's going to be a different story. We're not going to be able to do it (with penalties)."

DE Cameron Jordan on the loss to San Francisco:

"It's something that we have to deal with. They (San Francisco) had over 40 points on the board. That is on the defense. When you have an offense rolling the way that they were, with the ebbs and flow of the game, this is something that we have to be able to go back to what we know. You've got to be able to stop that run. At the end of the day, they ended up with over a buck-fifty (150 yards rushing) on the ground. Whether that's Jimmy (Garoppolo) scrambling, whether that's the 15 running backs that they have in the backfield, it's something that we knew coming in that we were going to have to stop. At the end of the day, we didn't do enough to get a win."