1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 7 21 7 13 48
NO 13 14 6 13 46

For those wondering if the Week 14 bout between the 10-2 San Francisco 49ers and 10-2 New Orleans Saints would be epic, well, it was.

The Niners would go on to win 48-46 in a crazy, back-and-forth bout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, which saw a bit of everything on the offensive side of the ball. Both head coaches Kyle Shanahan and Sean Payton dialed up trick plays, including this touchdown pass by wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to running back Raheem Mostert in the first half:


Yes, a touchdown pass from Sanders to Mostert.

Both of these 49ers players would prove to be massive offensive weapons, as Sanders finished the game with seven catches for 157 yards and a touchdown grab, while Mostert racked up 109 all-purpose yards and two scores. Those were instrumental, as the Niners were able to overcome a 20-7 first-half deficit to hold a 28-27 lead entering the third quarter.

The Saints picked on backup safety Marcell Harris, who started in place of Jaquiski Tartt (ribs), early in the contest which saw quarterback Drew Brees hit tight end Jared Cook for two touchdowns. Cook suffered a concussion on his second touchdown grab, however, which seemed to alter the momentum somewhat in the first half.

Yet the second half didn't start off so well for San Francisco.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tried hitting Sanders again on the Niners' opening drive of the third quarter, yet the ball bounced off Sanders' hands and right into the New Orleans defense. The 49ers defense held, though, forcing the Saints to settle for a 55-yard field goal and a 30-28 lead. Before that point, Garoppolo had a perfect passer rating, eventually finishing 26-of-35 for 349 yards, four touchdowns against one interception and a rating of 131.7.

Brees, meanwhile, tossed for 349 yards, five touchdowns and a passer rating of 138.4.

San Francisco also lost center Weston Richburg to a right leg injury, yet answered back the drive afterwards with a 5-yard touchdown grab by tight end George Kittle. That score put the Niners back on top 35-30 with 9:40 remaining in the third quarter:


New Orleans answered back with a field goal on its following possession to close the deficit to two points, then forced a 49ers 3-and-out. But San Francisco's defense held, then held again on a Saints fake punt on fourth down. The 49ers were then able to milk the clock in the fourth quarter, which included some key penalties against the Saints -- one on a defensive holding call on third down, then an unnecessary roughness call on a hit on fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Garoppolo then hit wide receiver Kendrick Bourne to put San Francisco up 41-33.

The Saints closed the gap on their following possession, though, which included three catches by wide receiver Michael Thomas and a touchdown to make it a two-point game again. But the 49ers executed yet another key offensive drive, which included a 31-yard end-around scamper by wide receiver Deebo Samuel to help the offense get into field-goal range in the waning minutes of regulation, where kicker Robbie Gould increased the Niners' lead to 45-40 with just over two minutes remaining.

It wan't enough. New Orleans marched down the field and scored a touchdown, aided by a dropped would-be interception by cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a blown coverage against Thomas and a penalty against cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

The Saints tried to go for two, yet the attempt failed. And the Niners would have 53 seconds left to overcome the 46-45 deficit.

Thankfully, Kittle's 39-yard catch and run on 4th-and-2, aided by a facemask penalty against New Orleans, put San Francisco easily into field-goal range. Kicker Robbie Gould then connected from 30 yards out to give San Francisco its 11th victory of the season.

And in one of the most thrilling games Niners fans have seen in some time.


SF Team Stats NO
25 First Downs 28
516 Total Yards 465
354 Pass Yards 349
162 Rush Yards 116
10 (67) Penalties (Yds) 5 (50)
1 Turnovers 1
3 (32) Punts (Avg) 1 (42)
28:37 Time of Pos. 31:23

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Garoppolo 26/35 349 4 1
E. Sanders 1/1 35 1 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
R. Mostert 10 69 1 19
M. Breida 6 54 0 28
D. Samuel 2 33 0 31
T. Coleman 3 6 0 6
J. Garoppolo 2 1 0 2
R. James Jr. 1 -1 0 -1
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
E. Sanders 7 157 1 75
G. Kittle 6 67 1 39
D. Samuel 5 76 0 25
K. Juszczyk 3 22 0 15
K. Bourne 3 18 2 6
R. Mostert 2 40 1 35
M. Breida 1 4 0 4
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
D. Buckner 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 2/2 41 6/6 12
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
M. Wishnowsky 3 44.7 0 49
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 1 21 0 21
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 1 3 0 3
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
R. Sherman 7-0 0 0 0
D. Greenlaw 6-1 0 0 0
J. Ward 5-2 0 0 0
M. Harris 2-4 0 0 1
A. Witherspoon 4-1 0 0 0
E. Moseley 4-0 0 0 0
K. Williams 3-1 0 0 0
A. Armstead 3-1 0 0 0
D. Buckner 1-3 0 0 0
F. Warner 2-1 0 0 0
N. Bosa 2-0 0 0 0
D. Jones 1-1 0 0 1
J. Valoaga 1-0 0 0 0
S. Day 1-0 0 0 0
D. Reed Jr. 1-0 0 0 0

Saints Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
D. Brees 29/40 349 5 0
T. Hill 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
L. Murray 7 69 0 18
A. Kamara 13 25 0 17
T. Hill 5 13 0 7
D. Harris 1 8 0 8
D. Brees 1 1 1 1
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
M. Thomas 11 134 1 49
T. Ginn 4 50 0 25
A. Kamara 4 18 0 9
J. Cook 2 64 2 38
T. Smith 2 29 1 18
L. Murray 2 25 0 30
J. Hill 2 4 1 3
D. Harris 1 13 0 13
T. Hill 1 12 0 12
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
M. Thomas 1 0 0 0
A. Kamara 1 1 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
W. Lutz 2/2 55 4/4 10
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
T. Morstead 1 45 0 45
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
D. Harris 5 31 0 51
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
D. Harris 2 18 0 25
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
V. Bell 8-4 1 0 0
C. Robertson 5-3 0 1 0
D. Davis 6-1 1 0 0
M. Lattimore 3-1 0 0 0
E. Apple 3-1 0 0 0
M. Williams 2-2 0 0 0
P. Williams 3-0 0 0 0
C. Gardner-Johnson 2-1 0 0 0
D. Onyemata 2-0 0 0 0
S. Tuttle 1-1 0 0 0
C. Jordan 1-1 0 0 0
M. Edwards 1-0 1 0 0
M. Brown 1-0 0 0 0
M. Davenport 1-0 0 0 0
T. Hendrickson 0-1 0 0 0
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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