This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) week 12 matchup against the New Orleans Saints (4-7) from Levi’s Stadium. I will provide updates and analysis from the press box throughout the game.
The 49ers are looking to win their fourth game in a row for the first time since 2019.
12:00 Inactive for the 49ers: Arik Armstead, Tyler Kroft, Nick Zakelj, Curtis Robinson, Ty Davis-Price
12:05 Inactive for the Saints: Marquez Callaway, J.T. Gray, Lewis Kidd, Marshon Lattimore, Payton Turner, Pete Werner
1:11 This is the type of game championship caliber teams win. The 49ers could make a big statement with a win today.
1:24 49ers have won the toss and deferred to the second half. They will start the game on defense.
1:28 New Orleans comes out on first down and breaks tendency by throwing a quick hitch to Taysom Hill for a gain of seven. That was only the fourth target for Hill this season.
1:29 Alvin Kamara makes Talanoa Hufanga miss in the backfield then fumbles and it’s recovered by Samson Ebukam. That’s why the Saints are 4-7. They can’t hold on to the ball.
1:33 Jimmy Garoppolo hits Deebo Samuel on a short crosser and the receiver takes it for a 20-yard gain to convert on third and six.
The Saints defense is one of the best in the NFL at sacking the quarterback. Good protection on the first two drop backs.
1:39 The 49ers offense gets to the Saints five and stalls. Coverage forced Garoppolo to throw the ball away on second down and his third down pass was nearly intercepted. It looked like he was trying to get it to Brandon Aiyuk in the back of the endzone, but the pass was too low, and a Saints underneath defender was able to jump and get his hands on the ball.
Robbie Gould comes on for the field goal and gives the 49ers the first score of the game.
49ers 3 Saints 0
1:43 The 49ers had ten plays on the opening possession. They were in 11-personnel (one running back, one tight end) for eight of them. This may explain why they chose to have Tyler Kroft inactive today.
1:46 On third and long, the 49ers defense forces Dalton out of the pocket. The veteran gets out of the pocket but is a yard short of the first down. It looked as though Drake Jackson was to have contain on Dalton but was being held.
Saints punt and the 49ers will take over at their 17.
1:54 On third and eight, Garoppolo had Christian McCaffrey open down the left sideline and overthrew him. Big miss. That’s a throw Garoppolo has to make.
1:59 Andy Dalton has an opportunity for a deep shot down the middle and doesn’t miss, hitting Rashid Shaheed for a gain of 35. Deommodore Lenoir had the coverage.
On the final play of the first quarter, T.Y. McGill bursts through the line and drops Alvin Kamara for a loss of two.
New Orleans will open the second quarter facing third and 11.
49ers 3 Saints 0
2:02 Good coverage down the field forces Dalton to take the checkdown to Alvin Kamara. Dre Greenlaw is there to knock him out of bounds after a gain of eight.
49ers take over at their four.
2:06 The 49ers ran 16 plays in the first quarter, 12 of them were out of 11 personnel and the other four were out of 21 personnel.
To open the second quarter, they use 12 personnel and Elijah Mitchell makes his debut. A couple of runs nets three yards. On third and seven, Garoppolo connects with George Kittle for a gain of ten.
Kyle Shanahan then goes back to 21 and 11 personnel with Christian McCaffrey and the offense bogs down.
After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the punt, New Orleans takes over at the 49ers 38.
2:16 Good challenge by Kyle Shanahan results in a 30-yard completion from Taysom Hill to Chris Olave being overturned.
2:18 Saints are called for holding on third and four. This pushes the Saints out of field goal range.
On third and fourteen Jimmie Ward is all over Chris Olave on a deep route to force an incompletion.
San Francisco will take over at its 20.
49ers 3 Saints 0
2:29 San Francisco drives the ball 78 yards but comes up empty handed when Jimmy Garoppolo is dropped at the two after trying to scramble on fourth and goal from the one.
Garoppolo missed Christian McCaffrey open in the endzone on the previous play. Not a good half for the 49ers offense.
2:35 The 49ers defense has been dominant in the first half.
On third and ten, Andy Dalton hits Chris Olave on a quick slant and Charvarius Ward is all over it, dropping the receive a yard short of the line to gain.
49ers should take over around midfield.
2:47 The Saints pass rush has been all over Garoppolo in the first half.
2:49 Tyrann Mathieu shows his age. On a throw to the back-right corner of the endzone, the Honey Badger gets his hands on the ball but can’t hang on. Jauan Jennings is able to get it and holds on as he falls to the ground.
49ers will take a ten point lead into the half.
Garoppolo had a couple of nice check down throws to Elijah Mitchell to keep the drive going. The quarterback also connected with Jennings four times for 42 yards on the possession.
3:00 Jimmy Garoppolo finished the first half 20-28, 174 yards and one touchdown. He dropped back to pass 29 times and was sacked once.
The 49ers used 11 or 21 personnel on 37 of their 42 offensive plays. That’s a big shift. They had been using a lot of 12 personnel over the previous three weeks.
San Francisco’s defense held New Orleans to only 21 plays in the first half. Holding the Saints to 1-5 on third down played a big role in this.
3:18 A potentially costly opening drive for the 49ers.
Elijah Mitchell is questionable to return with a knee injury.
Jimmy Garoppolo is limping after taking a shot to his left knee. The quarterback was flushed out to his right and threw a strike to Brandon Aiyuk for a first down. He was hit low following the throw resulting in a roughing the passer penalty.
A 45-yard Robbie Gould field goal extends the 49ers lead to 13-0.
3:30 Jimmie Ward is down. He was grabbing his right knee and dropped to the ground.
3:32 The Saints moved the ball 50 yards on 11 plays, only ten plays less than they had the entire first half, and Will Lutz misses a 45-yard field goal. San Francisco has not allowed a point in the second half since their loss to the Chiefs.
3:40 A quick three and out for the 49ers offense.
This game can’t end fast enough for San Francisco. Elijah Mitchell has been ruled out with a knee injury. Spencer Burford limped off the field after second down and is questionable to return with an ankle injury. And then there is Jimmy Garoppolo who has been slowed down after taking a hit to his knee.
3:43 Third quarter comes to a close with the 49ers leading 13-0.
3:53 For the second time in the second half the Saints offense drives down the field and ends up with no points.
Andy Dalton checked down to Alvin Kamara and as the running back tried to drag Dre Greenlaw into the endzone Talanoa Hufanga came up and knocked the ball out of his hands. The ball bounced around before finally being recovered by Greenlaw at the one.
49ers 13 Saints 0
4:10 The 49ers defense has been outstanding today. Three times the Saints have got into scoring position in the second half and each time the 49ers defense has turned them away.
Nick Bosa comes off the edge to sack Andy Dalton on fourth and goal to keep the shutout intact.
4:18 The 49ers are running out the clock with Jordan Mason. I am headed down to the locker room. Be back soon.
4:30 49ers win 13-0.