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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers ride defense to grind out 13-0 win over Saints

Nov 27, 2022 at 4:30 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
NO 0 0 0 0 0
SF 3 7 3 0 13

The 49ers may not have gotten the same type of performance from their offense that they saw in their 38-10 win over the Cardinals in Mexico City last Monday night, but their defense more than rose to the occasion on Sunday, pitching a 13-0 home shutout against the New Orleans Saints to send the team to their fourth consecutive win.

The Saints had multiple opportunities to score in the game but were plagued by self-inflicted errors to go with some clutch big plays by the 49ers' defense. Meanwhile, the 49ers got what they needed on the day from their offense, who missed some opportunities of their own but were led on three scoring drives by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who finished with 222 yards and one touchdown on 26-of-37 passing.

Saints quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 204 yards on 18-of-29 passing with zero touchdowns or interceptions in the loss. The 49ers held the Saints to 63 yards on the ground and 260 overall, while the Saints committed two turnovers to zero from the 49ers.

First Half

After posting second half shutouts in each of their previous three games, the 49ers defense made their presence felt right off the bat this time around, forcing a turnover on the opening possession. Linebacker Fred Warner knocked the ball loose from the hands of running back Alvin Kamara, giving the 49ers possession after defensive end Samson Ebukam recovered the fumble at the Saints' 43-yard line. The 49ers drove inside the Saints' 10 after the fumble but were unable to reach the end zone, settling instead for a 24-yard field goal from Robbie Gould and a 3-0 lead.

The teams exchanged punts after short possessions following the field goal, then the Saints were forced to punt again, this time pinning the 49ers at their own 4-yard line. The 49ers moved to the 17 before punting back to the Saints, who took over at the 49ers' 38-yard line early in the second quarter after 49ers defensive back Samuel Womack was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the return. But the Saints were unable to capitalize on the field position after moving backwards on a third down holding call and punted back to the 49ers, who began their next possession at the 20-yard line after a touchback.

The 49ers moved inside the Saints' 10-yard line for the second time in the game with the help of a 27-yard completion and a 20-yard completion to Brandon Aiyuk, but the offense came away empty despite having a 1st-and-Goal at the 6. Garoppolo completed a pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk on first down for no gain, then after a four-yard run from Elijah Mitchell, Garoppolo completed a 1-yard pass to receiver Jauan Jennings to set up a 4th-and-Goal at the 1. Garoppolo took the fourth down snap from the shotgun and was stopped when attempting to run into the end zone, giving the ball back to the Saints at the 2 with just over three minutes left in the half.

The Saints ran the clock to the two-minute warning on a three-and-out possession, then punted back to the 49ers, who took over at their own 43-yard line after an 11-yard return from Ray-Ray McCloud. This time the 49ers were able to cash in, putting together a nine-play, 57-yard drive that culminated with a five-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Jennings. The 49ers had a 32-yard touchdown run from Mitchell wiped out earlier in the drive due to a holding penalty but bounced back to take a 10-0 lead with 13 seconds remaining in the half when the ball landed in the arms of Jennings after a deflection by safety Tyrann Mathieu.

The 49ers dominated the first half statistically, putting up 218 total yards to 119 from the Saints while holding a 14-4 edge in first downs and a 20:11 to 9:49 edge in time of possession. Garoppolo finished the half with 175 yards and one touchdown on 20-of-28 passing while getting sacked once and knocked down six times.

Second Half

The third quarter opened with a penalty-filled drive, with the Saints committing two in particular that proved to be costly. The first penalty, an illegal contact penalty on defensive back Chris Harris, overturned what would have been Garoppolo's first interception in 130 attempts, while the second -- a roughing the passer call on defensive lineman Malcolm Roach, gave the 49ers a first down at the Saints' 27-yard line after it was tacked on to an 11-yard completion to Aiyuk. The drive turned into a 46-yard field goal from Gould for a 13-0 lead.

The Saints answered with their first long drive of the game (12 plays, 45 yards), but they once again shot themselves in the foot with a costly penalty. While facing a 4th-and-5 at the 49ers' 25-yard line, the Saints intended to go for a first down but changed their plans after a false start penalty on tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Kicker Will Lutz was then called on to attempt a 48-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left, leaving the score at 13-0 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Saints took over on offense again after a three-and-out from the 49ers and were on the verge of snapping the 49ers' second half scoreless streak, especially after getting a first down on a fourth-down roughing the passer penalty on defensive end Nick Bosa. But the streak stayed alive in improbable fashion due to Kamara's second fumble of the game. Dalton completed a pass to Kamara on a 2nd-and-Goal from the 6-yard line, but Kamara took a hit from safety Talanoa Hufanga that sent the ball flying in the air. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw came up with the loose ball, giving the 49ers possession at their own 1-yard line.

The streak was on the line once again after another three-and-out from the 49ers, but the defense once again rose to the occasion when their backs were against the wall. A third down defensive holding call on cornerback Deommodore Lenoir gave the Saints a 1st-and-Goal from the 4-yard line, but the 49ers held them to three straight incompletions, then Bosa caught Dalton for a sack on fourth down to give the ball back to the 49ers with 6:18 to play.

The 49ers offense put together an 11-play drive to eat up the remaining 6:18 after the sack to put the game away. The 49ers moved to 7-4 on the season with the win, while the Saints fell to 4-8 with the loss. Next up for the 49ers is a home matchup against the Miami Dolphins, who moved to 8-3 with a 30-15 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

NO Team Stats SF
197 Passing Yards 221
63 Rushing Yards 96
260 Total Yards 317
6.8 Avg Yards per Pass 6
2.86 Avg Yards per Run 3.31
2 Fumbles Lost 0
0 Int Thrown 0
1 Sacks Allowed 1
00:25:10 Time of Pos 00:34:50
6 Penalties 7

Saints Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Andy Dalton 18/29 204 0 0
Taysom Hill 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Andy Dalton 4 21 5.3 0
Taysom Hill 6 13 2.2 0
Alvin Kamara 7 13 1.9 0
Mark Ingram 4 10 2.5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Alvin Kamara 6 7 37 0
Jarvis Landry 2 4 20 0
Adam Trautman 1 1 17 0
Tre'Quan Smith 1 1 8 0
Taysom Hill 1 2 7 0
Mark Ingram 0 1 0 0
Juwan Johnson 0 2 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Alvin Kamara 2 2
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Wil Lutz 0 1 0 0
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Blake Gillikin 4 45.8 2 57
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Dwayne Washington 13 13 0 13
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Chris Harris 5-2 0 0 0
Shy Tuttle 4-1 1 0 0
Zack Baun 4-0 0 0 0
Tyrann Mathieu 3-0 0 0 0
Demario Davis 2-5 0 0 0
Paulson Adebo 2-4 0 0 0
Kentavius Street 2-0 0 0 0
Kaden Elliss 12-2 0 0 0
Marcus Maye 1-4 0 0 0
Malcolm Roach 1-1 0 0 0
Tanoh Kpassagnon 1-1 0 0 0
Bradley Roby 1-1 0 0 0
Cameron Jordan 1-0 0 0 0
Justin Evans 1-0 0 0 0
Marcus Davenport 1-0 0 0 0
Isaac Yiadom 1-0 0 0 0
Carl Granderson 1-0 0 0 0
Adam Prentice 1-0 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo 26/37 222 1 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Elijah Mitchell 7 35 5 0
Christian McCaffrey 11 32 2.9 0
Jimmy Garoppolo 4 4 1 0
Deebo Samuel 2 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 5 8 65 0
Jauan Jennings 6 7 49 1
Deebo Samuel 3 7 43 0
George Kittle 3 4 26 0
Christian McCaffrey 4 6 17 0
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 1 12 0
Elijah Mitchell 2 2 8 0
Kyle Juszczyk 2 2 2 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 2 2 46 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 43.8 2 45
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 9 0 11
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Talanoa Hufanga 6-3 0 0 1
Fred Warner 5-2 0 0 1
Deommodore Lenoir 5-0 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 4-1 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 2-3 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 2-2 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 2-1 1 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 1-2 0 0 0
Jimmie Ward 1-2 0 0 0
Kerry Hyder 1-1 0 0 0
Hassan Ridgeway 1-1 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 1-1 0 0 0
T.Y. McGill 1-0 0 0 0
George Odum 1-0 0 0 0
Tarvarius Moore 1-0 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 1-0 0 0 0

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