2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Saints overcome mistakes to beat 49ers 23-20

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-18 03:19

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Disappointed as Drew Brees was with the Saints' costly mistakes, he could not help but be impressed by the way his team found a way to pull out a last-second triumph over a playoff-contending team.

Despite three turnovers and a failed fourth-down attempt, New Orleans rallied from a 20-14 fourth-quarter deficit for a 23-20 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

''You're going to have games like this,'' Brees said. ''We had two critical, or really, three (turnovers) ... That's 21 points that did not swing our way and yet you still find way to win against a playoff-caliber opponent with a lot at stake at this point in the season.''

''This game means more the way that we won it, versus had those 21 points gone our way and then all of a sudden you win by three touchdowns,'' Brees said. ''These are the ones that just sharpen you, build confidence moving forward.''

The 49ers (6-4) played the tough, opportunistic defense people have come to expect in recent years.

Still, the Saints (8-2) were able to move the ball. Brees completed 70 percent of his passes for 305 yards, leading two touchdown drives in the first half and three field goal drives in the fourth quarter.

The Niners sacked Brees once, intercepted him once and, while leading 20-17 late with only 3:12 left in the game, appeared to have a game-sealing sack.

Ahmad Brooks leveled Brees, jarring the ball loose, and teammate Patrick Willis recovered. But Brooks was called for a personal foul for the way his shoulder pad slammed into the side of Brees' helmet, and for dragging the Saints QB down by his neck.

That gave Brees another chance, and he took advantage.

''You only get so many breaks against a great quarterback like Drew Brees,'' Niners linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. ''The penalty gave him another chance and they converted it.''

Here are five things we learned during the Saints' comeback against the Niners:

OLD HANDS: Two of the Saints older receivers, Marques Colston and Robert Meachem, remain capable of coming up big. Colston caught five passes for 80 yards, including two catches of 20 yards or more in the fourth quarter to set up two of New Orleans' final three scores. In the process, Colston, a seventh-round draft choice in 2006, became New Orleans all-time receiver with 7,923 yards, surpassing Eric Martin's record of 7,854 which had stood since 1993.

Meachem, meanwhile, has been quiet much of the season, but came through with a pair of catches for 78 yards.

OFFENSIVE DULDROMS: Colin Kaepernick is coming off a second-straight game in which he failed to connect on a lot of throws.

The Niners, who scored only nine points a week earlier, gained only 196 yards in New Orleans, compared to the Saints' 387.

Kaepernick was missing one of his top targets in Michael Crabtree, who has remained sidelined so far this season while he comes back from an Achilles tendon injury. Kaepernick finished with 127 yards passing and was sacked three times, one week after throwing for 91 yards with one interception and six sacks in a 10-9 loss to Carolina.

''We just didn't make the plays when we had a chance,'' Kaepernick said.

RUN STUFFING: If there was one area where New Orleans' much-improved defense appeared weak, it was against the run, where they ranked 23rd in the league through Week 10. Against the 49ers, however, the Saints' defense proved it could stop a strong running game when it schemes for it. Niners top rusher Frank Gore had only 48 yards on 13 carries, and the Niners finished with only 81 yards on the ground.

''The linebackers made great plays,'' Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said. ''Our defensive line held their own.''

STILL FORMIDABLE: The Niners have dropped two straight to fall 3 1/2 games behind Seattle for the NFC West lead, and likely will have to aim for a wild-card spot now. That doesn't mean the defending NFC champs are that far off from where they were a year ago. Their past two losses came by three points or fewer to the top two teams in the NFC South, and the 49ers had late leads in both games.

''I am proud of our guys the way they fight,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. ''If we continue to fight like that, we'll win a lot of games.''

CONFIDENT KICKER: Garrett Hartley had missed four of six field goal tries in his previous three games, but didn't let that slump affect him in the clutch against San Francisco. Inside the last eight minutes of the game, Hartley hit from 21, 42 and 31 yards, the last kick coming as time expired to win the game.

''I loved the way he responded,'' Saints coach Sean Payton said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group