Niners Defeat Saints, 31-21
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The New Orleans Saints failed to get above the .500 mark, after falling to the San Francisco Forty Niners, 31-21, on Sunday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
The Saints were looking to get above .500 for the first time this year, after rebounding from an 0-4 start by winning five of their last six games.
San Francisco got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Colin Kaepernick scored on a 7-yard run that capped off a 4-play, 62-yard drive, which give the Forty Niners a 7-0 lead at the 7:28 mark of the first quarter.
New Orleans tied the game at the 1:56 mark of the initial period when quarterback Drew Brees connected with tight end David Thomas on a 6-yard touchdown pass. That touchdown capped off a 10-play, 79-yard drive, and tied the game, 7-7.
Both teams benefited from turnovers in the second quarter.
After Ted Ginn, Jr. muffed a punt, which New Orleans recovered, the Saints scored two plays later, on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Marques Colston, giving them a 14-7 advantage at the 7:58 mark of the second period.
San Francisco evened things up right before the end of the half, when Ahmad Brooks intercepted a Brees pass and took it back 50 yards for a touchdown, and making the halftime score 14-14.
The Niners out-gained the Saints, in terms of first half yards, 155-143.
San Francisco regained the lead on their first possession of the second half when Kaepernick hit Frank Gore with a 6-yard pass, capping off a 6-play, 80-yard drive, which gave the Niners a 21-14 advantage at the 12:17 mark of the third quarter.
The Niners scored their second defensive touchdown on the Saints' very next possession, when Donte Whitner intercepted an errant Brees pass, and took it back 42 yards for a touchdown, giving San Francisco a 28-14 lead at the 11:42 mark of the third quarter.
The Saints came right back to cut the lead to seven on their next possession, going on a 8-play, 80-yard drive, that was capped off by a 2-yard pass from Brees to Jed Collins, Brees' third touchdown toss of the game, making it 28-21, San Francisco, at the 7:24 mark of quarter number three.
San Francisco extended their lead at the 7:53 mark of the final quarter when David Akers booted through a 27-yard field goal, making the score 31-21.
That was all that San Francisco needed, leaving with the 10-point victory.
The Niners were able to out-gain New Orleans, in terms of total yards, 375-290, including a 144-59 margin on the ground.
Leading the way for San Francisco was Kaepernick, who completed 16-of-25 passes, for 231 yards, and one touchdown, while Brees paced the Saints in a losing cause, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns, despite throwing two interceptions, and being sacked five times.
With the victory, the Niners improved to 8-2-1, while New Orleans fell to 5-6 on the season.
The Saints return to action on Thursday night, when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.