The New Orleans Saints did not manage to get a win on Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers and it might have cost them a trip to the playoffs. Drew Brees’ interceptions proved to be costly as the Saints fell to the 49ers 31-21.
The Saints played a hard fought game but the defense of the 49ers was too much for the Saints as they constantly pressured Brees and forced him into some turnovers. Furthermore, the Saints did not play the same way they had been playing during a three-game win streak prior to Sunday’s loss.
The Saints’ defense gave up 144 rushing yards as well as 231 passing yards and a touchdown from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick also scored the 49ers’ lone rushing touchdown during the first quarter. The defense did make some key stops throughout the game despite giving up 375 yards of offense. However, it was not the Saints’ defense that cost them this game, it was their offense.
Brees threw two interceptions and both times the 49ers returned them for touchdowns. Brees’ two interceptions proved to be costly and really was the difference for the 49ers’ victory. However, the Saints’ offensive line could have done a better job of protecting Brees as he was sacked five times.
Also, the Saints’ ground game only managed 59 yards on 21 carries. The Saints’ offense was not as balanced as it was in previous games and they were not able to outscore the 49ers at the end. The Saints had a chance near the end but just fell short much like they did in last season’s divisional playoff game.
With the loss the Saints’ window to make the playoffs this season seems all but closed. At this point the Saints need to continue to do everything they can to win their remaining games because anything can happen during the NFL season.
Next up for the Saints is a Thursday night contest against the rival Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are the only team to beat the Falcons this season and would like to beat them again on the road this time. It will be a tough game for the Saints but they have proven once that they can already beat them. The Saints do not have anything to lose at this point and would not mind playing spoiler to the Falcons.