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49ers vs. Saints

The New Orleans Saints dominated the 49ers in a 31-17 victory on Sunday at the Superdome.

Head coach Mike Nolan said the team "just didn't play well on offense, defense or special teams."

Three offensive turnovers, including two thrown end zone interceptions by JT O'Sullivan, marked a frustrating day for the offense. The defense had their fair share of troubles too with the Saints connecting on several huge pass plays.

The last score in the game was a 31-yard field goal by Martin Gramatica.

Gramatica's kick was set up by a failed onside try by the 49ers, after scoring on a 5-yard O'Sullivan pass to Isaac Bruce. The 49ers touchdown score came with 4:08 left in the game, and was the first time the 49ers had gotten in the end zone all day. The 6-play drive covered 97 yards. Frank Gore also got the 2-point conversion on a shovel pass to trail New Orleans, 28-17.

New Orleans extended their lead to 28-9 with 11:23 to go in the final quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Deuce McAllister. The key play on the drive was a 57-yard flea flicker to Robert Meachem.

The Saints 10-play, 91-yard scoring drive was set up by an interception by safety Kevin Kaesviharn in the end zone.

San Francisco opened up the third quarter with a 10-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a 38-yard Joe Nedney field goal, trimming New Orleans' lead to 21-9.

New Orleans secured a 21-6 halftime lead over the 49ers . Their final score of the first half came with 52 ticks left on a 47-yard touchdown strike from Drew Brees to Robert Meachem. The 4-play drive covered 74 yards.  

The 49ers had scored on the drive before with a 49-yard field goal by Joe Nedney. Nedney's long kick was set up by a good return by Allen Rossum and a 15-yard face mask penalty at the end of his run. Arnaz Battle's 22-yard catch got the 49ers into Nedney's range.

With 3:00 left in the first half, the Saints moved ahead 14-3 over the 49ers when Brees threw his second touchdown pass to Lance Moore, a 33-yard ball to finish off a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive.

The Saints captured the lead early in the second quarter with a Brees 5-yard touchdown pass to Moore to go up 7-3.  The Saints offense enjoyed a short field after a Will Smith and forced fumble on J.T. O'Sullivan, which New Orlenas recovered at t he 32-yardline. The 6-play, 32-yard drive ended with 9:32 to go in the second quarter.

The 49ers scored on their opening drive with a 47-yard field goal by Joe Nedney, finishing off a 10-play, 63-yard drive. Isaac Bruce caught two passes on the drive, including a 23-yarder that got the 49ers into Saints territory.

*Linebacker Manny Lawson was the only player to suffer an injury. He was forced out with a hamstring.

*Linebacker Takeo Spikes started ahead of Jeff Ulbrich.

The 49ers inactives are as follows: QB Jamie Martin (3rd QB), CB Marcus Hudson, CB Reggie Smith, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Ahmad Brooks, C Cody Wallace, T Jonas Jennings, LB Tully Banta Cain

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