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.