49ers vs. Saints: Live Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

Phil G@FuturePhilGCorrespondent INovember 17, 2013

Nov 17, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks (76) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The New Orleans Saints defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 23-20. After a strong comeback in the second half, the 49ers fall just short to Drew Brees and Co.

The 49ers (6-4) will face the Washington Redskins in Week 12.

Check below for final grades and analysis.



San Francisco 49ers - 20

New Orleans Saints - 23

San Francisco 49ers Grades
Position UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseC-C
Run OffenseCD
Pass DefenseC+C+
Run DefenseB-B-
Special TeamsB-C
vs. Saints Week 11


Game Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Colin Kaepernick’s play improved in the second half, but he was still held to less than 200 yards passing for the fourth consecutive game. In fact, 17 of the 49ers points came off turnovers.

Run Offense: Frank Gore and this 49ers rushing attack was largely a non-factor in this game. The Saints defense played the run with near perfection, especially when it came to slowing down Colin Kaepernick on the ground

Pass Defense: The 49ers controlled the time of possession for most of the third quarter, which helped in limiting Brees. However, like last week, the 49ers couldn’t stop the opposing teams quarterback when they needed it most.

Run Defense: Statistically speaking, the Saints didn’t do much on the ground. However, on eye test alone, the Saints were effective on the ground when they needed to be, especially in between the numbers.

Special Teams: After almost giving up a return touchdown in the first half, the 49ers coverage unit looked solid in the second half. As usual, punter Andy Lee was fantastic, netting a 49 yard average on the day.

Coaching: The play calling in the second half looked far more balance. As for the unnecessary use of the challenge flag, 49ers fan can take comfort in knowing that Jim Harbaugh was all out of little red flags.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 17:  Dan Skuta #51 of the San Francisco 49ers pressures Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 17, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Colin Kaepernick struggled for much of the first half, despite the passing touchdown. If not for the muffed fumble by the Saints, who knows if the 49ers would even be on the board at halftime. Kaepernick finished the half with 64 yards passing a touchdown.

Run Offense: With the exception of that 24-yard run in the second quarter, the Saints have done an excellent job in containing Frank Gore thus far. Kaepernick himself has done little on the ground. The 49ers finished with 56 yards rushing in the half.

Pass Defense: As usual, Drew Brees was poised and accurate to start this game. Credit the 49ers defense for limiting the Saints on the scoreboard. Brees finished the half with 97 yards passing and a touchdown.

Run Defense: The 49ers struggled to contain Saints running backs Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram in the first quarter. Fortunately for the 49ers, the defensive line did a much better job in the second quarter, despite the Collins rushing touchdown.

Special Teams: The 49ers coverage unit has looked inconsistent thus far. It was refreshing to see the 49ers recover a muffed punt, but on the other hand, they almost gave up a return touchdown to the Saints late in the second quarter.

Coaching: Jim Harbaugh was erratic and impatient with his challenges in the first half. Both plays were obviously called correctly, but that still didn’t stop Harbaugh.


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