What We Learned: Saints 41 - 49ers 23

View images from the Week 9 game between San Francisco and New Orleans.

The San Francisco 49ers were desperate for a win on Sunday, but it didn't happen for a seventh consecutive week.

The New Orleans Saints produced 571 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers in a 41-23 road victory over the 49ers.

Here's what we learned from the Week 9 regular season contest.D Struggles to Contain Brees, Saints RBs

New Orleans picked up six consecutive third-down conversions on their way to producing four touchdowns in the first half.

The Saints' 31-20 lead at the half was cut down to eight points in the third quarter. That's the closest the 49ers could get. San Francisco kept New Orleans off the scoreboard in the third quarter when Saints kicker Wil Lutz missed a 55-yard field goal attempt. Michael Thomas, a second round draft pick, made a ridiculous catch in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Ohio State product made a leaping grab and maintained possession while falling onto his back.

The deep ball from Drew Brees made it a 38-23 game with 13:13 left to play.

San Francisco's four turnovers, including three lost fumbles, led to the road team's lopsided victory The Saints rushed for 248 yards. Mark Ingram became the seventh consecutive running back to pass the 100-yard mark against the 49ers defense. Ingram rushed for a 75-yard score and finished the game with 158 yards on 15 carries. Tim Hightower added 23 carries for 87 yards.

Stopping the pass was no easy task either for San Francisco. Drew Brees completed 28-of-39 pass attempts for 323 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Chip Kelly said after the game that Brees' production against the 49ers defense contributed to the coach's decision to go for a fourth down at New Orleans' 8-yard line late in the game.

The 49ers will have another tough defensive assignment next week on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. Kelly said he would not consider making any changes to his coaching staff.

49ers Put up Big First-half Numbers

The 49ers put up a season-high 319 yards of offense in the first half. It was the team's second-highest output for any game this season. San Francisco produced 320 yards of offense in a Week 1 home win over the Los Angeles Rams.

The 49ers finished Week 9 with 486 yards of offense (393 passing, 93 rushing).

Previous totals:

Week 7 - 273 total yards vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 6 - 300 vs. Buffalo Bills

Week 5 - 286 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Week 4 - 295 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week 3 - 254 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Week 2 - 302 vs. Carolina Panthers

Week 1 - 320 vs. Los Angeles

Kap Throws for 300-plus, Reaches 2K on Ground

Kaepernick's 398 passing yards gave him his sixth, 300-yard game of his career. The quarterback's lone blemish in the first half occurred when he was intercepted by Saints linebacker Craig Robertson.

The turnover led to a Saints touchdown, which gave the visiting team a 14-3 lead.

Kaepernick completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Celek and a 47-yard touchdown to DuJuan Harris in the first half.

The 49ers signal caller was 14-of-18 passing for 286 yards and a 132.6 quarterback rating in the first half.  Kaepernick was also responsible for the second-most passing yards in a half for a quarterback this season. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw for 296 in a game against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year.

Kaepernick finished the game 24-of-29 passing for 398 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a quarterback rating of 102.3.

Kaepernick surpassed 2,000 rushing yards for his career on a fourth-quarter run. He finished the game with 23 yards on five carries. Kaepernick now has 2,005 rushing yards in his six seasons with the 49ers.

Harris Makes First Start of 2016

With Pierre Garçon inactive due to a shoulder injury, the journeyman running back made his first start of the season.

Harris put the 49ers into the end zone with a 47-yard catch on a short swing pass from Kaepernick. The shifty runner caught the ball in the right flat and sprinted down the 49ers home sideline to cut into New Orleans' lead, making it a 21-10 game midway through the second quarter.

Harris' first career touchdown catch was also a career-long reception.

He finished the game with 10 carries for 59 yards and five catches for 83 yards. Harris, however, lost a fumble on a short swing pass in the fourth quarter. Mike Davis also fumbled the ball on a run at New Orleans' 1-yard line.

Hyde was limited in practice this week and could be available next week. His injury status will continued to be monitored heavily.

Niner Nuggets

-- Quinton Patton led the 49ers with six catches for a career-high 103 receiving yards.

-- The 49ers rotated throughout the game at inside linebacker. Nick Bellore and Gerald Hodges got the start. Michael Wilhoite mixed in throughout the game. Hodges led the team with 11 tackles.

-- Quinton Dial made the start at nose tackle. Mike Purcell was inactive for the first time in 2016.

-- Second-year defensive tackle Arik Armstead was shaken up with an upper-body injury in first quarter. He was announced as questionable to return with a shoulder injury.  Tony Jerod-Eddie replaced the second-year lineman. Second-year linebacker Eli Harold later walked off the field under his own power after being injured in the first as well. Garrett Celek entered the game in Harold's spot.

-- Jimmie Ward started at cornerback and moved inside to play nickel cornerback. Keith Reaser and Tramaine Brock were the perimeter cornerbacks in the nickel sub package.

-- Corerback JaCorey Shepherd returned his first kick of the season for 36 yards in the second quarter. He finished the game averaging 34.7 yards on his three returns.

-- Hodges knocked Brees out of bounds on a second-down scramble for San Francisco's first sack of the game. New Orleans entered the game allowing 11 sacks in seven games.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising