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New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers game recap

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Jimmie Ward #20 of the San Francisco 49ers and Fred Warner #54 during the second half of a game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Jimmie Ward #20 of the San Francisco 49ers and Fred Warner #54 during the second half of a game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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The New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers lived up to our every expectation.

The build-up to this electrifying game had a ‘Rocky lll ” Clubber Lang (Mr. T) vs Rocky Balboa feel to it, and boy did it live up to it’s billing and then some. Let’s just say the New Orleans Saints brought the heat, but it just wasn’t enough.

Both teams would exchange knock out blows the entire match, but in the end, it would be the San Francisco 49ers who would emerge from the canvas first.

From the start of this matchup, the scene was electric.

The New Orleans Saints (10-2) kick returner Deonte Harris took the opening kick off 51 yards, setting up Saints quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints elite offense as they marched straight downfield on a nine-play, 73-yard drive.

It was capped off when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees connected with 6-foot-5 tight end Jared Cook for a 38-yard touchdown strike.

The San Francisco 49ers (10-2) wasted no time on their opening drive as the answered back with a quick scoring drive to silence the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and 49ers high-powered offense went straight down the field on their own nine-play scoring drive that was capped off when Garoppolo connected with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne on a six-yard touchdown strike to even the game at 7-7.

Both teams would continue to dial up big splash plays on each other’s defenses in the first half, with each team’s stars shining bright, setting the tone for what would be an unprecedented second half of football.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees would finish the first half going 15-for-18 for 179 yards and four touchdowns and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would end the half 11-of-12 for 206 yards and two touchdowns.

In the second half, both teams would commit early costly turnovers that would lead to points.

Saints linebacker Craig Robertson would be “johnny on the spot” after a tipped pass by San Francisco wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders landed in his waiting hands.

Drew Brees and the Saints offense would get the ball in excellent field position, but the drive would stall and the Saints would have to settle for a 55-yard Will Lutz field goal making the score 30-28.

The Saints’ defensive line would come through huge as they stopped San Francisco on a third and one to force a punt. On the Saints’ next possession running back Alvin Kamara would cough up the ball on a game-changing drive.

The costly turnover by the Saints would lead to Garoppolo having short field position which led to a go-ahead score as he found tight end George Kittle for a seven-yard score pushing the 49ers back on top 35-30.

The Saints defensive line would come alive pressuring and sacking Garoppolo three times but two costly penalties by rookie cornerback CJ Gardener Johnson on two crucial third-down attempts by the 49ers would extend their drives, eventually leading to points on the board by San Fran.

On the next drive Drew Brees and company would move the ball quickly down the field as Brees would connect with wide receiver Michael Thomas for a 21-yard touchdown grab making the score 42-40.

On the next ensuing drive, the San Francisco 49ers would answer the Saints by moving the ball down the field and kicking a field goal to make the game 45-40 with 2:19 left in the fourth quarter.

This would then set up future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees on a masterful seven-play 76-yard drive that would end with Brees finding wide receiver Tre’ Quan Smith underneath for an 18-yard touchdown, putting the Saints ahead 46-45 after failing on a two-point conversion.

In true warrior fashion, the San Francisco 49ers would again answer the New Orleans Saints with a well put together drive of their own where we saw quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo find his team-leading receiving tight end George Kittle on a crucial 4th and two passes that resulted in an enormous gain setting up the 49ers kicker Robbie Gould for the go-ahead field to win it in regulation 48-46.

Drew Brees would finish the game with an impressive 29-for-40, 349 yards and five touchdown passes, one rushing.

Tight end Jared Cook who started the game red hot with two receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns would have to leave early due to a concussion.

Saints’ wide receiver Michael Thomas continues to set the bar with a big game totaling 11 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown, pushing his record-breaking reception total to 121.

San Francisco 49er quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would also have a stellar day going 26-for-35 for 349 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

Sadly, the New Orleans Saints were outcoached and outflanked on defense. A couple of discouraging plays also hurt this team’s chances. But, they were right there.

Next. Saints: 30 greatest players in franchise history. dark

This matchup lived up to the hype, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw these two great teams meet up again come January.

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