Bloggin’ live from 49ers-Saints game in N’awlins

Click here early and often for all the updates from the 49ers-Saints game.

OK, it’s 8:50, local time
here in New Orleans (6:50 back home), and I’m ready to go after a very early
evening. How ’bout that?

Of course, had the BBQ
shrimp at Pascal’s Manale last night for dinner. Then, stopped by the Tropical
Isle to see my guys, Late as Usual, belt out a few classics. (I was nursing a
bottle of water, by the way.)

I’ll be walking over to the
Superdome in a few minutes, and will continue the updates from there.

* * *

But, first . . . from the
pages of the PD, please read . . . “Bush
is Big Easy’s Biggest Threat
” and “Breaking
down 49ers at New Orleans
.”

* * *

49ers inactives: QB
Jamie Martin (No. 3 QB), CB Marcus Hudson, CB Reggie Smith, CB Shawntae Spencer,
LB Ahmad Brooks, C Cody Wallace, T Jonas Jennings and LB Tully
Banta-Cain.

All the guys listed as
questionable on the injury report (Bryant Johnson, Dashon Goldson, Michael
Lewis, Donald Strickland and Keith Lewis) will suit up and play.

Also, Takeo Spikes gets his
first start, as he takes over at strong inside linebacker for Jeff Ulbrich. The
49ers are wearing their red jerseys today. They typically only wear those tops
at home.

Saints inactives: WR
Marques Colston, CB Randall Gay, RB Aaron Stecker, CB Aaron Glenn, FB Mike
Karney, T Jermon Bushrod, TE Jeremy Shockey and DE Josh Savage.

Lance Moore starts at WR
for David Patten; FB Olaniyi Sobohehin starts at FB for Karney, and Mike
McKenzie starts at CB for Gay.

* * *

It’s a bit nippy inside the
dome. I’m guessing the temp is in the low-60s.

* * *

Saints win the toss and
will receive.

FIRST
QUARTER

–Niners defense hopes with
five DBs. Goldson is in, and yhat means Lawson is out.

–Spikes with a big hit on
Brees as he’s throwing. It’s incomplete. Saints have second and 10 from
midfield.

–On third down, Willis
with the heat on Brees for an incomplete pass. The defense holds.

–Rossum fair-catches at
the 8. Niners take over with 12:48 left in the quarter.

–JTO makes the hot throw
to Battle for 9 yards and a first down.

–The line is giving
O’Sullivan a lot of time to throw. He completes passes to Bruce of 23 and 9
yards.–He has good time again, but is sacked by Charles Grant.

–On third down, JTO tries
to get it deep to Bruce, but Roman Harper comes over to break the pass up. He
could’ve made the pick.

–Joe Nedney kicks a
47-yard FG. It’s 49ERS 3, SAINTS 0 with 7:22 left in the
quarter.

–Saints take over at the
29. Manny Lawson is not in the huddle. This looks like another special-teams
only day for Lawson.

–Deuce McAllister gets his
third carry of the season, and he moves the pile for 5 yards.

–Brees throws incomplete.
Great play by Willis to completely throw off the timing on TE Mark Campbell
across the middle. Willis laid quite a hit on Campbell.

–Third and 4 from SF 49,
McDonald jumps offside. It’s a first down.

–Spikes with a fantastic
interception. He is shallow on the tight end and Brees wanted to get the ball
down the field to Devery Henderson. That was quite a play. Niners take over at
their own 37 with 4:21 left in the quarter.

–Three and out for the
49ers. McKenzie breaks up quick slant to Johnson. Andy Lee onto to punt to Bush.
Horrible punt, but got a good roll to the 17. Ended up being a nice
exchange.

–Saints get a couple first
downs.

–Nice plays from Nate
Clements, covering Robert Meachem deep and bring down Bush for 1-yard loss.
It’ll be third-and-12 from the SF 48.

–Three-man rush . . .
Brees throws high. That was the final play of the first quarter. Saints will
punt after the switch sides.

SECOND
QUARTER

–Awful punt by Steve
Weatherford. Niners take over at their own 30 with 14:54 left in the quarter.
Time for another commercial.

–O’Sullivan sacked on
back-to-back plays, he fumbles the second one, stripped by Will Smith from
behind and the Saints recover at the 49ers’ 32.

–Third and 5 . . . nice
screen set up to McAllister it’s a gain of 10 for a first down.

–After penalties on both
teams, Saints have first and goal at the 13.

–Brees finds Moore in the
front left corner of the end zone. Harris wasn’t there in time to break it up.
That’s a TD, a 5-yard pass. It’s SAINTS 7, 49ERS 3 with 9:31 left in the
half.

–Niners tried some
trickery on the return. Rossum hands off to Robinson, who only advanced it 12
yards to the SF 17. That’s where the offense will take over.

–Three and out for the
49ers, as JTO throws high for Bruce on quick slant on third-and-1.

–Lee with a high, 39-yard
punt that Bush fair catches. Saints take over at their own 35 with 7:58 left in
the half.

–On second and 1, Lawson’s
on the field at ROLB. Bush gets the first down, but it’s coming back on a Jammal
Brown holding penalty.

–Willis breaks up pass to
Bush.

–Bush gains 10 on a
third-and-10 run. Willis makes another great play to bring down Bush for a
5-yard loss on a pass from Brees.

–Franklin called for
defensive holding at end of McAllister’s 10-yard gain. Saints have the ball at
the 39.

–Deuce picks up another 6
yards and a first down at the 33. Niners call a timeout. They’re doing a good
job against the Saints’ passing attack, but they can’t stop McAllister’s
running.

–Lawson’s back in after
the timeout. Franklin stops Deuce for no gain.

–Moore badly beats Goldson
down the field. Michael Lewis could not get over in time and that’s a 33-yard TD
pass from Brees. It’s SAINTS 14, 49ERS 3 with 3:00 left in the half. It
was a 10-play, 65-yard drive that took a shade under five minutes.

–JTO sacked by CB Tracy
Porter. Nobody picked him up. Don’t blame that one on the line. The ball popped
loose. He was ruled down by contact. The Saints are challenging the call. Ref
Jeff Triplette goes under the hood.

–Hmmm, the Saints might
have a point. The ball was certainly moving around in JTO’s hands when he went
down.

–But Triplette says the
ruling stands. It’s 49ers ball, second and 18 from the SF 46.

–Nice catch and run from
Battle for 22 yards and a first down.

–RG Tony Wragge get caught
tripping. Now’ it’s first and 20.

–Gore with 11-yard run.
It’s second and 9 from the 31 at the two-minute warning.

–JTO’s third-down pass to
Bruce was incomplete. Bruce wasn’t expecting the pass to come out so
quickly.

–Niners settle for
Nedney’s 49-yard FG. It’s SAINTS 14, 49ERS 6 with 1:44 remaining in the
half. Saints are scoring TDs, the 49ers are scoring FGs. That’s not a good
trade-off for the guys in red.

–Wow, that was fast. The
Saints come right back on a four-play, 74-yard drive. Brees hits Robert Meachem,
who beats Mark Roman, for a 47-yard TD. It’s SAINTS 21, 49ERS 6 with :52
remaining in the half. Will the 49ers sit on it or try to match them?

–Niners come out with four
wides. JTO hits Battle for 22 yards to the SF 49.

–Morgan takes hard hit
across the middle from S Kevin Kaesviharn. Incomplete.

–Battle drops pass on
third down. Niners will punt with :25 remaining. Neary blocked, but there’s flag
down, as Lee goes down. Don’t think it’ll be an automatic first down, so the
49ers will probably decline it.

–Yep, it’s running into
the kicker. The 49ers don’t take the penalty.

–Brees takes a knee and
that’s the end of the first half.

–Brees has 195 yards
passing at the half, and that’s already more than any QB has done against the
49ers this season. Gore has carried eight times for 39 yards. JTO is 7 of 16 for
107 yards. Battle has four catches for 65 yards.

THIRD
QUARTER

–Meanwhile, in N.Y. it’s
Jets 34, Cardinals 7. The NFC West is the Pac-10 of the NFL.

–Gore gains 10 on first
down. Niners need to run a little more. They can’t get too antsy to make big
plays in the passing game.

–Third and 4 from the SF
48 . . . JTO to Gore down the field on seam route for 24 yards.

–Barry Sims beaten Grant
for the sack on second down. JTO throws incomplete to Battle in end zone on
third down.

–Nedney comes on for
38-yard FG. It’s SAINTS 21, 49ERS 9 with 10:18 left in the
third.

–My two cents: The Saints
secondary is doing a very good job. All of the pressure the Saints have gotten
on O’Sullivan has come after he wanted to get rid of the ball. The last sack was
an example of that. JTO took his drop and wanted to get rid of it, but it looked
as if Davis was covered underneath. Sims didn’t keep Grant under wraps, and
Grant kept working to get to O’Sullivan.

–Roman called for illegal
contact. He doesn’t like the call. He’s having a rough day.

–Niners challenge the call
of a completed pass to Campbell. Looked like he was bobbling it when he went
down and lost control of it on the ground. It’ll either be second and 4 or
second and 10 with 9:06 to play in the third.

–INJURY UPDATE: Lawson’s
return is questionable with a hamstring.

–The ruling stands. It’s a
6-yard gain. And that wastes a timeout.

–Michael Lewis breaks up
third-down pass. Saints will punt.

–Niners take over at the
21 with 8:47 left in the third. They’re still in the game, but they need to get
into the end zone. (How’s that for some insightful analysis?)

–On third and 5, Harper is
called for defensive holding. It’s a first down for the 49ers.

–Foster with his play of
the game, and he gains 9 yards and a first down.

–Foster catches a short
pass, and now Gore is back in.

–Big third down. Jason
Hill is in the game (Bruce is out). The play clock is winding down. O’Sullivan
calls timeout. That’s the 49ers’ second time out.

–Bruce is back on the
field after the timeout; he replaces Hill on third and 2. . . This might be four
down territory. Gore carries for 7 yards and a first down.

–Walker on a crossing
route for 21 yards. Man, he looked good with the ball in his hands.

–JTO tries to get the ball
to Johnson in the end zone, but Kaesviharn with a phenomenal interception in the
end zone. Martz is not pleased on the sideline. JTO threw that ball into
coverage.

–Flea-flicker. Meachem is
well-covered down the field, but Brees throws it anyway . . . and he’s glad he
did. Meachem took it away from Michael Lewis for a 52-yard gain.

–And that, my friends, is
the end of the third quarter.

FOURTH
QUARTER

–The 49ers missed their
opportunity in this game. They dominated the third quarter, but only managed
three points.

Olaniyi Sobohehin catches a 10-yard
pass on third-and-2. I think he was Roman’s responsibilty. Roman tried to hit
him from preventing the FB from getting out in a pattern.

–McAllister scores from a
yard out. And this one is over. It’s SAINTS 28, 49ERS 9 with 11:23
remaining. I didn’t think the 49ers would win this game, but I thought they’d be
a lot more competitive.

–As the 49ers take over,
JTO’s passer rating is 56.1. Vernon Davis has not caught a pass.

–Rossum returns it 55
yards to the N.O. 40.

–On that third-down play,
Grant worked over Sims pretty good to get to O’Sullivan as he was throwing.
They’re going for it on fourth down.

–Battle with an 11-yard
reception on fourth down.

–Another interception in
the end zone. This time it was rookie Tracy Porter with the pick. No doubt about
this one. The 49ers had two horrible red-zone interceptions.

–Willis breaks up pass to
Moore. Not a lot of guys have played well on the 49ers’ defense today, but
Willis has been very, very impressive. Bush has not done much today, and Willis
is the reason.

–Devery Henderson gets
behind Clements for an 81-yard gain. Clements trips him up at the 2-yard line to
save the TD — for now.

–Lewis makes the stop on
the
Sobohehin just short of the goal line. Willis
recovers the fumble. But the Saints will challenge, saying the ball crossed the
plane of the goal line.

–Triplette determines the
ruling on the field stands. The 49ers take over at the 3-yard line with 6:26
left.

–There’s a Vernon Davis
sighting. He caught a 19-yard pass. (That came after a 43-yard PI penalty on the
Saints.)

–Kendrick Clancy beats
Snyder up the middle for a sack. That’s six sacks for the Saints. They came into
the game with four in the first three games.

–For the first time this
season, the 49ers don’t have a RB on the field. They go with four wides and
Delanie Walker. JTO finds Bruce in the end zone for a TD. Niners go for two.
Shovel pass to Gore. It’s good. It’s SAINTS 28, 49ERS 17 with 4:08
remaining. Time for a Nedney onside kick.

–Saints recover the kick .
. . that guy, Lance Moore.

That’s going to wrap it up
from here. I’ll be heading down the locker room shortly. Thanks for tuning
in.

FINAL SCORE:
Saints 31, 49ers 17

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