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Jenkins: “We live by the blitz, we die by the blitz”

San Francisco 49ers' Williams celebrates with teammates after Davis scored the winning touchdown against New Orleans Saints during their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in San Francisco Reuters

Until the last five minutes of Saturday’s game in San Francisco, the Saints defense was enjoying one of its best efforts of the year.

The 49ers didn’t have a drive over 54 yards in the first 55 minutes. Despite five turnovers by the Saints offense and special teams, Gregg Williams’ defense was hanging on.

After the first quarter Sunday, the 49ers’ drives resulted in: punt, punt, punt, fumble recovery, field goal (after going three yards), punt, punt, punt, field goal.

And then suddenly Alex Smith and Vernon Davis created their own 49ers legacy.

The 49ers ripped off two touchdown drives of 80 yards or more in the span of five minutes. If that was the end of the Gregg Williams era in New Orleans, it was an ugly way to go out.

“We don’t play prevent,” safety Malcom Jenkins said via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Nothing has changed, so we live by the blitz, we die by the blitz.”

We can’t kill the Saints defense. It was an ugly end, but they held up their end of the bargain. There’s a reason that teams were 71-1 entering Saturday when they have a +4 turnover margin.

The 49ers got 16 possessions on Saturday.  Drew Brees was picked off twice. Pierre Thomas fumbled on the goal line. Special teams lost two fumbles.

Brees almost pulled off an incredible comeback, but ultimately this was a total team loss by the Saints.

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64 Responses to “Jenkins: “We live by the blitz, we die by the blitz””
  1. maddenisfordorks says: Jan 14, 2012 10:47 PM

    Didn’t someone call the saints a PS 3?

  2. ninerfan49 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:49 PM

    Today the Saint’s died by the blitz. What a great game!

  3. johnnyb216 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:49 PM

    Who cares? You lost. Season over. Why are you even talking?

  4. mavajo says: Jan 14, 2012 10:49 PM

    “Who dat” quarterback with the over-inflated stats because he plays in a dome all year?

  5. aljack88 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:50 PM

    It came down to whose defense was going to blow it last. But it was a great game to watch.

  6. rmm9090 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:53 PM

    Tom Brady in the huddle:

    “ok, who wants this td pass?

  7. godofwine330 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:55 PM

    I can’t blame them. I cringe every time I see a team play “prevent”. The first time I saw it on “The Drive” being a Browns fan I hated it, and every time I saw it after that I hated it. Play how you played to get there. I’m right handed. I’m not going to let someone beat me using my second best hand (left hand); If I’m going to lose at all it is going to be doing what I do best.

  8. bdcrouch79 says: Jan 14, 2012 10:55 PM

    so long Saints…. you’ll be missed… NOT

  9. KIR says: Jan 14, 2012 10:56 PM

    Ok, but why not bump and double team their #1 receiver?

  10. vicktator says: Jan 14, 2012 10:59 PM

    mavajo says: Jan 14, 2012 10:49 PM

    “Who dat” quarterback with the over-inflated stats because he plays in a dome all year?

    He threw for 460 yards and 4 touchdowns on the road against the leagues best defense. I’m not a saints fan, but I don’t see how you can destroy brees for how he played today.

  11. rmc1995 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:01 PM

    Overinflated stats because he plays in a dome? He had 462 yards and 4 TDs today?

  12. arhymingape says: Jan 14, 2012 11:02 PM

    Well… R.I.P

  13. turk2875 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:03 PM

    If they live and die by the blitz, I think San Fran at least scored an assisted suicide.

  14. benh999 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:03 PM

    Who is Malcolm Jenkins?

  15. phelbin says: Jan 14, 2012 11:03 PM

    The Niners have been underrated and dismissed all year as a fluke. One and done. A fraud. Alex Smith is just a game manager. Well…they proved themselves tonight. Alex Smith was fantastic when it counted most!

    I gotta say the Saints put up a good fight…they scored more on the Niners than any other team this year. I’ll give them that much.

    What a great game!

  16. franknunley57 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:04 PM

    Saints 3.5 49ers. They were begging you to bet the saints. “they didn’t build those hotels in vegas by being wrong”

  17. vincentbojackson says: Jan 14, 2012 11:07 PM

    I like the 49′ers to win next week as long as their opponent spots them 5 turnovers.

  18. raiderspride says: Jan 14, 2012 11:13 PM

    An epic game. Great theatre.

  19. mavajo says: Jan 14, 2012 11:14 PM

    “vicktator says:

    He threw for 460 yards and 4 touchdowns on the road against the leagues best defense. I’m not a saints fan, but I don’t see how you can destroy brees for how he played today.”

    Yeah, 460 yards. Seems impressive until you pay attention and notice that he threw 63 friggin’ passes. And then there’s the matter of his 2 INTs.

    Brees’ stats are grossly inflated because 1) he plays over half the season in a dome and 2) throws over 600 passes a year. He’s been first or second in pass attempts almost every year for the last half decade.

  20. thesteelernationisclearlysuperior says: Jan 14, 2012 11:20 PM

    I see PFT has a failure to notice the Tebow failure this time around. PFT? Hmmm?

  21. jpspear says: Jan 14, 2012 11:22 PM

    Ran the vaunted defense up and down the field but too many turnovers. Still to be up at the end after 5 giveaways and a 17-0 deficit was great. Great season, kudos to SF.

  22. Chuck Wood says: Jan 14, 2012 11:24 PM

    It all becomes moot… once the Packers stomp. The clock is ticking- enjoy this week.

  23. smurky28 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:27 PM

    Saints are one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL after the whistle, it was AWESOME watching Alex Smith and Vernon Davis recall Espn Classics of the “Young to Rice” days in San Fran! (said Young because of is scamper for the TD)

    Vernon Davis is who dat!

  24. rmc1995 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:30 PM

    You can still blitz and double team the only guy who can possibly beat you. Why Davis was allowed one on one in those last two drives is beyond me. Credit to Alex for recognizing Davis as his go to in the last two minutes. Awful game plan by the 49ers up to that point.

  25. discosucs2005 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:30 PM

    @turk2875

    I enjoyed the Call of Duty reference.

  26. sweetnlow44 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:31 PM

    Every time the 49ers got a big play, Jenkins was the one giving it up. Jenkins was the 49ers best player today.

  27. rajbais says: Jan 14, 2012 11:33 PM

    Maybe, the Saints half assed because of Gregg Williams possibly leaving.

  28. lolb23 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:36 PM

    Greg Williams and his horrible defense is the Rams problem now.

  29. buzzbissinger says: Jan 14, 2012 11:45 PM

    I would like to thank the 9ers for stifeling the most redundant, stupidest chant in all of sports,

    The 49ers, dat’s who.

  30. glazerh8er says: Jan 14, 2012 11:46 PM

    I love the way these 49ers play. Being a Bucs fan who sorely misses our dominant defenses, the 49ers are the only team in the league that reminds me of those teams right now. Thumpers at every position, and a QB just good enough to win. The way they were flying to the ball carrier, especially early on, was a lot of fun in this “year of the crappy defenses”.

  31. skito13 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:48 PM

    U win a playoff game …finally and think u r repeating champs, turnovers r the only reason u won.

  32. 2sausage11 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:48 PM

    Who Dat going home

  33. pravin68 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:48 PM

    I hate the prevent too. And if they played the prevent, SF probably scores a tying FG anyway. What is inexcusable is they did not double cover Davis their best weapon. What is the reason for not covering him better?

  34. nyyjetsknicks says: Jan 14, 2012 11:48 PM

    Now that “who dat” is done with football, their fans can attend school and learn how to spell correctly.

  35. jikkle49 says: Jan 14, 2012 11:49 PM

    No Malcom, you die because you let Vernon Davis burn you like crispy toast over and over and over and over again.

  36. goodguyjohn says: Jan 14, 2012 11:55 PM

    Whitner literally K.O.’d Thomas on the goal line fumble. He was out on his feet. He might want to reconsider comments such as “we’re gonna go into SF and hit them in the mouth early” a week before he plays a physical team. I can guarantee that comment did not sit well in SF

  37. mrme02 says: Jan 15, 2012 12:00 AM

    462 yards on almost SEVENTY pass attempts? Yes I would say a little inflated.

    On a side note, Malcolm Jenkins certainly jaws a lot for someone who routinely was outrun by a TE

  38. packerfanfordecades says: Jan 15, 2012 12:01 AM

    Holy cow, what a closing 4 minutes !!

    Now I have two teams I’m concerned about. (I would have preferred to stay focused on being exclusively preoccupied with the Giants until tomorrow evening.)

    So … are the 49′s going to rent a practice field next week up in Wisconsin or someplace else not far from the Canadian border …. or …. is there a football field-sized building in California with an outstanding air conditioning system?

  39. blackqbwhiterb says: Jan 15, 2012 12:17 AM

    I watched that defense when Williams was in Washington and he always seemed over rated to me. They won the Super Bowl because Dungy’s Tampa 2 is even more over rated….

  40. kingcarlbanks says: Jan 15, 2012 12:21 AM

    Again I admit I slept on the Niners all season. Figured they were lucky or flukes, whatever. The way I saw them laying wood, going for the ball and just playing lights out defence truly impressed me. Whoever they play next week (Giants hopefully) is in for a fight. Congrats SF.

  41. muckhappy says: Jan 15, 2012 12:24 AM

    I will again start this post by stating how much I respect the saints and Drew Brees. Brees is a phenomenal player and is a class act. I always thought that the chargers made a mistake by letting him go. Great QB, and I am surprised that he has not gotten more consideration for MVP, (No disrespect to Rodgers). Anyone notice how the old NFC West has ruled the playoffs? (ATL,NO, SF). Anyway. Congrats to the saints and their “true fans”for a great season and a great game. Now for the haters crying that the niners were gifted 5 turnovers and couldn’t do much with them, I might remind you that SF has won the turnover battle all year. In fact they had the best turnover margin in all of football. This is not luck, or a fluke victory but good defense plain and simple. The Saints are without a doubt the best offense that the niners will face all year and they were stopped cold for much of the game. I have the utmost respect for the saints and their team, but today the 49ers were the better team.

  42. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 15, 2012 12:41 AM

    Y’all won one playoff game in a long time and you think you something the Saints will be back niners maybe not. Ridiculous turnovers cost the game.

  43. donmajik7 says: Jan 15, 2012 12:44 AM

    Overinflated stats because he plays in a dome? He had 462 yards and 4 TDs today?

    *******************************************
    Over inflated cuz a HUGE chunk of his yards are YAC!!! His average completion distance to Sproles was 3 yards…. and how many receiving yards did he have this year?

    Brees is great… but over inflated!!!

  44. johntonioholmes says: Jan 15, 2012 12:50 AM

    I’m sorry, but miserable tackling just isn’t acceptable.

    You think the Saints would have learned that last year.

  45. nineroutsider says: Jan 15, 2012 1:00 AM

    What a game. I could not believe what I saw Alex smith do; as lame as it sounds, I almost got teary eyed seeing hime do it! Trust me, most of them view this as a job, but what I saw today was a lot of heart. From the coaching staff down. What a game!!!!

    Congrats to the Saints on a great game and season. They almost walked out of Candlestick with the game and no one can fault them for how they played.

    Like I said, what a game, an instant classic straight up! No one can fault the siants for how they played today. Great game. Don’t hang your heads.

  46. efftheducks says: Jan 15, 2012 1:05 AM

    The Saints suck for decades and people make fun of the bags. Now that they’ve enjoyed some recent successes people hate the motto or belittle Brees’ accomplishments because he plays in a dome or has more pass attempts than average. Interesting stuff. Great game today and a lot of credit goes to the Niners – but, IMHO, I doubt we’ll be seeing another SF victory this season.

  47. coachow says: Jan 15, 2012 1:11 AM

    Brees threw 63 passing attempts and no offense holding calls penalties were called today. Wait between this game and the detroit vs NOLA’s game last week, Brees threw 106 attempts with NO OFFENSIVE HOLDING CALLS. Who did the NFL want to win for the ratings?

  48. downsouth49er says: Jan 15, 2012 1:15 AM

    skito13 says:

    “U win a playoff game …finally and think u r repeating champs, turnovers r the only reason u won.”

    You sound like an anus!! Last I checked turnovers are a part of the game and every team would love for their defense to gain turnovers and their offense to not turn it over.

    The Saints still had a chance to win the game even with all their turnovers but they didn’t because the 49ers came up with scoring drives at the end that wasn’t the result of a turnover.

    There’s no guarantee that if the offense didn’t turn it over they were going to score a TD or FG. Just as there is no guarantee that the opposing team is going to score off of a turnover.

    Get real dude and stop spewing BS like the only reason a team won was because of a turnover because the 49ers honestly didn’t make that much of the turnovers.

  49. fmwarner says: Jan 15, 2012 1:47 AM

    If you told me the Saints would score 32, I’d say they win 99 out of 100 times. Turnovers were the deciding factor, and I’ve never seen a team claw and fight for the ball the way the Niners did today.

  50. CKL says: Jan 15, 2012 2:33 AM

    One of the best football games I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos to both teams. I admit I was pulling for SF though because I love defense and solid all around play that isn’t video game passing oriented and that’s pretty much how they’ve won all year. They’re the Texans of the NFC. A pleasure to watch.

  51. dolphins4 says: Jan 15, 2012 7:32 AM

    Jenkins needs to learn how to cover and tackle.

  52. jpspear says: Jan 15, 2012 8:09 AM

    We beat Minn due to turnovers, it’s just part of the game. Smith, for once, played like a top draft pick. Not sure why the SF secondary is so arrogant, they couldn’t hold a 17 point lead and got humiliated twice with the game on the line. our defense usually bends but here they broke. Smith was heroic at the end but for the first 55 minutes did little. SF got the turnovers and the ball last and that was the difference. if your D isn’t better than this and GB doesn’t turn it over it will be a short run..

  53. discosucs2005 says: Jan 15, 2012 8:10 AM

    @coachow

    I don’t know if there is a conspiracy to not call holding on the Saints, but Justin Smith looked held on almost every single play. He flat out gave up on everything but the bull rush; which made it all the more miraculous that he was still able to get pressure on Brees.

  54. manureman says: Jan 15, 2012 8:36 AM

    Was I the only person who thought it strange? I mean really 69 pass attempts and zero offensive holding calls. It’s apparent to me all five of the sainta o lineman are on their way to the hall. I’m not sure but i think even John Hannah was called for holding!!!

  55. inthearex says: Jan 15, 2012 8:56 AM

    Drew brees can go back to acting like he’s the reason new Orleans has been saved or something.

  56. shanehawks says: Jan 15, 2012 9:09 AM

    Yea I’m not a Saints fan mavajo and I’m not a niners fan but you said Drew Brees had over inflated stats becuz he plays in a dome he went for 462 yards and 4 touchdowns with 2 picks, now ill give it to you the picks suck, but 462•16 games is 7392 yards and 4TD’s•16 games is 64 touchdowns so are u saying his stats would have been exrtremely over rated had he played in SF this whole year, which any niners fan that isn’t in denial (there’s not many) would take Brees over Alex Smith anyday!

  57. hscorpio says: Jan 15, 2012 9:15 AM

    Contrary to popular opinion, the blitz is far from a magic elixir for the defense. The results are as spectacular for the offense as much or more than they are for the defense. Go to the well too often and it will be “die by the blitz” far more often than not.

  58. xtb3 says: Jan 15, 2012 9:15 AM

    The turnovers became a moot point after New Orleans overcame them and took the lead. And the defense couldn’t cover Davis. But again Brees overcame it and took the lead again leaving 49ers with about a minure and a half and 80 yards to go. The Saints defense again couldn’t cover Davis who again saved the drive. Then again had only to stop a touchdown on one play Davis could not be covered again. Terrible collapse by the defense. 49ers only have 2 weapons as recivers Davis and Crabtree.

  59. slickwilliam says: Jan 15, 2012 9:39 AM

    SF will be a hard team to beat. They’ve got the run game, stellar defense, and a tight end who can beat a lot of db’s down the stretch, all led by a guy who was told “you cant” for five straight years. Throw in the coaching and this is a nasty SB contender.

  60. TheDPR says: Jan 15, 2012 10:29 AM

    Those wondering why Vernon Davis wasn’t doubled haven’t watched a lot of 49ers football this season. He’s been their third option, at best, for most of this year. Crabtree and Gore have come before Davis for much of this season. Crabtree had a second guy close to him for much of the game.

    In retrospect it was an obvious oversight, but if you gameplan watching mostly (or only) recent game film you can understand the Saints not focusing on Davis.

    It was a great game. Saints made a great comeback and the 49ers were even better. I don’t see the need to disrespect either squad for their performance.

  61. SOBEIT says: Jan 15, 2012 10:36 AM

    Great game by both teams. Just an amazing 1st and 4th quarter of action by both teams. There are so many story lines to review and many have been posted already. But for me…another RB injured running into the SF D. I think that makes 6 or 7 that had to leave the game after getting hit.

    A well rounded game by all sides of the ball for SF and NO was still in it…says a lot about how great the Saints offense was this year. Smith and Davis chose one hell of a game to make their statement to the league about the types of players they truly are.

  62. wherezwaldo says: Jan 15, 2012 11:34 AM

    WHO DAT!?! oh the Aints.. last 2 playoff exits come from the “WEAK” NFC West. #Niners #BEATtheSAINTS

  63. 6thsense79 says: Jan 15, 2012 12:38 PM

    Why exactly is it a bad thing that Brees passed 60 times? The strength of the 49ers is their run defense. They allowed only about 77 yds rushing per game which was tops in the league. To show you how amazing that is the Ravens were second in fewest rushing yards allowed per game at 92.

    The 49ers defense allowed 1 rushing touchdown for the ENTIRE REGULAR SEASON. That is rediculous. The player with that rushing touchdown was Mershawn Lynch in the middle of his beast mode streak. So if you’re the Saints will your game plan be to run or to give the 49ers a healthy dose of your team’s strength which is the passing game?

    The Saints forced the 49ers to play their type of up tempo game (as evident by Alex Smith’s 42 pass attempts in the game which is higher than his season average of 27) rather than having the 49ers play their type of grind it out game. To their credit the 49ers were able to beat the Saints at their own game.

    If the Saints forced a “balance” offensive approach with the run game the 49ers would have ate them up.

  64. jcf78 says: Jan 15, 2012 3:58 PM

    Hypocrites….. That’s what saints or at least the classless ones are. Here are two incredible games in NO’s history and guess what? Turnovers proved to be reasons of victory!

    NFC championship game versus Minnesota, super bowl versus indy!!!!

    I guess were gifted them instead of film study and reading the offense to make the turnover.

    Brees is not a dome qb 400+ yards shows that, and yards after catch, guys do you know who invented this as a important stat for receivers? Jerry Rice.

    I’m a niner fan since1979, been there from the championships through to the crap, loved the game. Loved what the saints did bringing in brees, always thought he would be one of the greats. Don’t understand saints fans argument of ‘gifting’ turnovers!!!!! Just like I mentioned above I guess they were gifted those turnovers in those two games and really weren’t that good of a team to win a SB, as since then they get knocked out by the horrendous :) NFC west

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