November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) and inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) combine to sack New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 49ers defeated the Saints 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
While New Orleans Saints faithful may not want to admit it, the San Francisco 49ers are exactly as advertised especially when it comes to their defense. Even a game billed as “revenge” and a Mercedes-Benz Superdome filled with Who Dat’s couldn’t overcome the miscues from the team.
The 49ers defense is currently ranked as 2nd in the NFL and by end of the season wouldn’t surprise me if they took that to the #1 spot. With defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Aldon Smith leading the front seven of the 49ers, it was a dreadful sight for Saints fans.
The Saints were bull rushed and manhandled by the 49ers defensive line after holding their own for the first part of the game. But third string offensive tackle Bryce Harris went down in the first quarter forcing fourth string tackle William Robinson into play.
Both Justin and Aldon Smith as well as linebacker Ahmad Brooks recorded 1.5 sacks while linebacker Patrick Willis was credited with half a sack. But the Saints offensive line wasn’t the main thing that lead to the loss on Sunday.
With almost 30 seconds to go before the half, the Saints were in the lead with a score of 14-7 and were threatening to add at least a field goal. However quarterback Drew Brees did what he couldn’t afford to do against a team like the 49ers.
Brees dropped back to throw a pass to tight end Jimmy Graham who was already being covered tightly by two defenders. Brooks dropped back into coverage and sat in the middle of the field where he made a fingertip grab of the pass for Graham and ran back for 42 yard score.
To start the third quarter the 49ers drove down 80 yards to put the score at 21-14. Brees rallied the troops to go down and tie the score but the 49er defense struck again.
Brees threw a deep pass to wide receiver Marques Colston but as he went up for the pass was upended by safety Dashon Goldson causing the pass to be tipped.
Safety Donte Whitner was there to intercept the pass and ran it back for another defensive touchdown. Although interim head coach said that the first interception didn’t change the game, then the second one did.
The Saints would score again late in the third quarter but it would be too little too late for any comeback as the 49er defense held again and din’t allow a score from the Saints the entire fourth quarter, ending with a 31-21 49er victory.
The wounded team won’t have time to heal too long or feel sorry for themselves because they now will have to turn around and travel to face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday which will likely be another physical game for the Saints.