Here is what stood out from the 49ers 13-0 win over the Saints on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.
The Niners defense has been outstanding since being taken to the woodshed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the last four weeks they have held their opponents scoreless in the second half. No other team in the NFL has been able to manage this since at least 1970.
On Sunday they managed to keep the Saints off the scoreboard in the first half as well, recording their first shutout since blanking Washington in a downpour.
Sunday also marked the first time New Orleans had been shut out since week 17 of the 2001 season when the 49ers beat them 38-0.
Bosa preserved the shutout with a sack of Andy Dalton on the Saints final play of the game.
The sack gives Bosa 11.5 on the season. Bosa has now recorded a sack in nine of his first ten games this season.
In ten games with Bosa on the field this season the 49ers defense has allowed over 19 points only once.
Ebukam made his presence felt in his return to the lineup after missing the last two games. The second-year 49er was strong on the pass rush all afternoon and tied Nick Bosa for the team lead with two hits of Andy Dalton.
Elevated to the active roster on Saturday, McGill came through for the defense when he dropped Alvin Kamara for a loss of two. The tackle set up a third and long which New Orleans would not be able to convert.
Warner was all over the field on Sunday.
The All-Pro linebacker forced a fumble from Alvin Kamara on the Saints opening drive leading to a field goal by the 49ers offense.
In addition to the forced fumble, Warner recorded two passes defensed, a quarterback hit and seven tackles on the day.
Greenlaw wasn’t about to let Warner have all the fun. In the fourth quarter the got his hands on Kamara and didn’t let go until Talanoa Hufanga blasted the running back to force a fumble. Greenlaw was able to get on the ball for his first career fumble recovery.
In addition to the fumble recovery, the fourth-year linebacker recorded five tackles and one pass defense.
Hufanga has brought a play making element that has been missing from the back of the Niners defense. His forced fumble on Alvin Kamara mentioned above was the first of his career. He led the 49ers defense on Sunday with nine tackles.
Garoppolo came into Sunday having completed over 70 percent of his pass the previous four weeks. Against New Orleans he completed 26 of 37 passes, 70.2 percent, for 222 yards and touchdown.
Although he came close, Garoppolo did not throw an interception for the fourth game in a row.
On the 49ers lone touchdown drive Garoppolo missed his first two throws before connecting on six in a row including a five-yard touchdown to Jauan Jennings.
Garoppolo was once again very good on third down. He finished 9-13 for 80 yards on the money down.
Jennings made several big plays on the 49ers touchdown drive. On that possession he recorded four catches for 42 yards including the five-yard touchdown from Garoppolo.
He finished the game with six catches for 49 yards.
The offensive line struggled against New Orleans. That should not have been unexpected considering the Saints came in with one of the top pass rushing units in the NFL.
Aaron Banks had a particularly difficult day. The second-year guard allowed seven of the Saints 14 pressures on Garoppolo.
Trent Williams and Spencer Burford each gave up two pressures, while Daniel Brunsill, Jake Brendel, and Mike McGlinchey each allowed a single pressure.
The Niners struggled to get the ground game going on Sunday as the offensive line could not create lanes with any consistency, leading to an average of 3.3 yards per attempt.
A hold by Brendel wiped out a 16-yard run by Deebo Samuel, one of two explosive runs which were taken away due to penalties.
Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason combined for 60 yards on 12 carries, not bad.
Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel combined for 32 yards on 13 carries, bad.
McCaffrey has struggled to get going on the ground the last couple games and was held to only 49 yards on 17 touches against New Orleans.
With Elijah Mitchell likely to miss a couple of weeks due to a strained MCL in his left knee, the bulk of the run game will now fall on McCaffrey.
Taking Mitchell’s spot on the gameday roster will be rookie Ty Davis-Price.
After Mitchell went down to a knee injury in week one, it was Davis-Price who stepped in as the primary backup with Jordan Mason continuing as the third back. I think this is what we will see from the 49ers in the coming weeks with Deebo Samuel getting a few carries as well.