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Instant Analysis: Saints 25 – 49ers 22

Posted by Scott Kegley on September 20, 2010 – 10:55 PM

The 49ers fell to 0-2 on the season in heartbreaking fashion as Garrett Hartley hit a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints a 25-22 win.  Instead of saying that his team should have won this game, Mike Singletary focused on the turnovers that proved to be crucial.

Here’s instant analysis from the game.

Standout Stat: The 49ers finished Monday night minus-4 in turnover differential.  The 49ers knew it would be a tough game going against the Super Bowl champs, but as Singletary noted, the turnovers did not put them in position to win the game.

Highlight Reel: The 49ers’ eight-play, 82-yard drive in just 53 seconds took the honors for highlight of the night.  There were some fantastic individual plays made, including Alex Smith’s 41-yard strike to Vernon Davis in the third. Even more impressive, the 49ers’ final drive to tie things up at 22.  Smith twice scrambled for 12 –yard gains and also had three passes of 15-plus yards to three different receivers.

Put it in Perspective: The attitude in the locker room following the game was optimistic.  The team recognized the mistakes they made and will focus on limiting turnovers against Kansas City next week.  Alex Smith finished 23-of-32 for 275 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.  Frank Gore racked up 112 yards rushing on 20 carries and added 56 yards receiving.  He had two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.  Josh Morgan also had a nice game with six catches for 70 yards.  There were several positives from Monday night’s game, but the 49ers will have to rebound in the coming weeks as they hit the road, traveling to Kansas City and then to Atlanta.

Quotable: Alex Smith – “I think the one thing I take away…we put the workload on the offensive line.  They knew they got challenged.  They knew this was going to be on them and they stepped up.”

Right guard Adam Snyder felt the same way.  “Obviously there are things we need to get better at to win games.  I believe in us and I know everybody in this locker room believes in us.  And that’s all we need – to believe and keep going.”

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Posted in Gameday | 56 Comments »

56 Responses to “Instant Analysis: Saints 25 – 49ers 22”

  1. By WHATISIT200808 on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply


  2. By TruNinerfaith on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply

    Stay positive niners. You have mad heart Alex. Singletary you are a great coach and keep up the hard work. True niner fans support the team no matter what. You guys showed a lot of pride today to stay in the game even after 4 turnovers. Defense you did a hell of a job. PAT your a beast. I am naming my kid Patrick when I have one. Vernon your the man. Frank you played amazing as usual. O-line did great. Way to step it up. We will get the wins when we limit the mistakes and I have no doubt we will.

  3. By estudioG on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply

    C’mon guys these mistakes that keep hurting you guys should have been purged out of your system in H.S. ball, start playing like guys that are making money to do what they to do and not a bunch of pop Warner kids!

  4. By palco on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply

    I would hope I have to eat these words…This team will go nowhere with Alex Smith at QB, the guy is a grove killer, with no finesse or touch on his throws. Week after week, year after year its one excuse after another, with the talent this team has it may have been better to keep Shawn Hill.

  5. By Pao Xiong on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Keep our head up Niner faithfuls and we can do it…we stood up against the super bowl champs and didn’t get whoop like we did in the seahawks…we just had a flook there but we managed to pick back up against a very tough team…we should what we can do and what we are capable of…I don’t care what people say about Alex Smith but I still have faith in him and some how some way he could take us all the way….we just need to quite killing ourselves with turnovers….Niners for Life!!!!!

  6. By Ryan Lawrence on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Niner fans, I don’t want to hear negativity about Alex Smith. He went out and played a phenomenal game against a defense that could have ripped us. It was a great game. Maybe a heartbreaker, but a great game.

  7. By John Spencer on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Good teams find a way to win; bad teams find a way to lose ! That’s it guys, and I love the 49er’s ; dig deep and find the way to win . . .

  8. By joey on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    it kills me how people still try to blame alex smith!! he had a great game. his two interceptions were both TIPPED. does nobody else see this? he had a good completion rating, almost 300 yds and a td. i thought he looked great. frank gore ran hard….MAD PROPS TO THE OFFENSIVE LINE…….49ers are getting there…..keep the faith

  9. By dave on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    comin from a skins fan here. I would be very proud of my team those guys played hard and you guys got a look at what i thought alex smith could be.

  10. By cfp_321 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I’m encouraged by the gutty effort, but Singletary has a LOOOONG way to go to being a credible coach, much less great. Many of these fundamental goofs ups fall directly on him, whethter people like it or not. First, running onto the field to berate the official/’call a timeout’ almost got an unprecedented personal foul to ruin another drive. The Niners are literally inventing new ways to screw up. WTF is Phillip F-ing Adams doing in there whatsoever? The 9ers constantly burn timeouts and incur pre-snap penalites (poor practice prep). **Why did they pass after getting the pass interference-aided 1st down late in the game (tipped ball on a ridiculous quick slant to Divatree, spare me the great play to tip the ball — he is SUPPOSED to tip an obvious bunch-ball spant). Run the ball in that situation every time! Given everthing that happened in this circus, running the ball in that situation would have 1)not netted an interception on a telegraphed slant & 2) kept the clock running with a bullish Frank Gore (who unfortunately fumbles EVERY game). Singletary is simply not that smart and it CONTINUALLY shows up in disorganized fashion. P.S. WHY is Delaney Dropper returning kicks? My head hurts and I didn’t even drink.

  11. By John Perez on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Turn overs killed us, but the fact that they never gave up all game long was a great sight to see. Niner heart really showed in this game. Lets keep pluggin away and lets win the next game. I especially loved what the O line did in this game opening the door for Gore to get over 100 yds. I would however would have liked to see more pass attemps towards Crabtrees way and whats the deal with Westbrook ? He needs to be a bigger role in this offense. This will make our Niners more dinamic and keep all defenses quessing.And I cant forget about Patrick Willis and Co.Great game guys way to show up for all Niner Fans everywhere.Lets keep our heads held high we have nothing to be ashamed of and bring on the Chiefs.Good things are gonna happen for this team.LETS GO BACK TO WORK!!! NINER FANS STAND UP!!!!

  12. By DaBooko on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I know what the score says but the Saints know they got a whoopin last night they know in there heart they where beaten last night we gat this

  13. By BIG PZ on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I know lots of people are hard on Alex Smith, and I have been guilty of it in the past as well. Last year he impressed me, and it was obvious he needed an O line that would give him time to throw the ball. We made some acquisitions in the off season and things looked better. For some reason people are still on his case. BUT everyone needs to look at his stats for last night’s game. He had a better passer rating than Drew Brees – is that not an accomplishment? The picks weren’t completely his fault either, as both were tipped. The O line played well the D was UNREAL holding the defending superbowl champs to 3 field goals. WE NEED TO STOP FUMBLING THE BALL!!! Professional football players should be able to field punts and should know to protect the football – especially inside the opponents’ 20 yard line.

  14. By Will Boxley on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    When will the excuses for Alex Smith stop.. First it’s how he hasn’t had the same offense in 4 years.. Now it’s “he’s learning this offense now for his second year.. ” Guy came from a gimmick offense in college and hasn’t stepped up.. 1 TD vs. 2 INT…. That doesn’t make a professional quarterback, let alone put him in the same stadium as Joe Montana and Steve Young.. 9er’s need to get back to the Legacy that was/is the San Francisco 49ers.. Singletary needs to chuck this kid out and get a QB who can place in a real NFL offense.

  15. By 49ers4ring6 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    estduio g, just shut up.. saints are superbowl champs that was an amazing game…. how can u even hate on em? pop warner kids? come on man.. thats ignorant

  16. By B H Lane on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I am disappointed in the loss. I am so proud of my 9ers. True fans support their team. They don’t make excuses and they certainly don’t play the blame game. We will tighten it up. I can hardly wait to enjoy next weeks game. I expect Great things from this team I love. Teamwork and camaraderie is needed now more than ever.

  17. By ninaz4real on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply


  18. By J-hoss on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Besides the obvious mistakes, I was happy with the game. A bit frustrating to know you beat yourself, but also have to remember that this is the Saints that the Niners held down and really dominated a majority of the game. Just stop the fundamental mistakes. Let’s go out and smash K.C.!

  19. By Gamebreaker76 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Time is coming the 49ers will rise from the ashes. The year still is young.

  20. By Clark on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Yo 9ers, yes it was a tough loss but you guys looked great last night, you are going to win many games playing like that. Note to Alex Smith- you played a near perfect game, congratulations, your hard work has made you a great QB.

  21. By terry on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    tweak the playcalling and hold onto the ball in the red zone. the aints knew they skated out of town on a prayer! they’re screwed without bush, and if they make the playoffs WE WILL finish drives and put them back down where they came from. VD said it before the game, we are the better team!!!!!

  22. By terry on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    i’m going to watch my niners thump the chiefs this week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woo hoo

  23. By Teri on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    the 70K fans at the park last night got their money’s worth. that was a STAND UP game from the 49ers and the whole team should be Proud but must work more on a few things. GREAT GAME from a GREAT TEAM.!

  24. By detroitniner on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I gotta laugh at the alex haters, I remember being at candelstick and 80 getting boooed , remember steve young was a dreaded mistake, and oh yea Joe Montana was a coin flip to see if he was going to start over deberg?
    alex under a good qb coach did great (norve turner) since then he has had no decint coach (dilfer?) I do believe this kid can play and given some support he will show what he can do. I think atlanta traded bret favre away for nothing because he wasnt any good. just some history and thoughts.
    we do need new coaches though these mistakes are unacceptable and the play calling is terrible.

  25. By walker1414 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    alex smith was crazy good last night does nobody remember that the saints d won there superbowl for them…lay of the guy im tired of hearing how he sucks he was a 1st overall pick for a reason and he showed his true colors last night

  26. By Ken Bixby on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    great game. yeah everyone is riding on Alex Smith. I will admit that I was one of them. But he sure did look good in the 4th quarter. Hats off to you Alex. Thank you for starting to be that QB. Patrick Willis is a beast and he is the best LB in the NFL. Gore its about time to take over. I would like to see Dixon get more carries. And also no turnovers. The game was ours. Should’ve won by 10 points and the saints know that. Great job 9ers!!! 49er for life.

  27. By dbg on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    49ers is a great team. To play against saints this way technically is from a good team. problem is turnovers. i agree we could have a better qb but alex smitth can get better with some winnings to get self confidence.
    i knoe we are gonna win the division . In playoffs is another theme but i know we are going there

  28. By Rob on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Even though you lost you played with HEART. You played MEAN football and I was proud to watch you and be a fan. The offensive line played tough. Gore looked hungry and fought hard for extra yards. When Gore has that look he’s unstoppable. Alex looked hungry too. The defense was consistent and stopped the Saints for the most part until the last drive when they started to play prevent. This game shows your potential to be GREAT! Keep that hungry look going forward.

  29. By Ryan on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Niners played a hard fought game last night. Im not a Alex Smith fan but I give credit when its due! Alex played with heart and poise last night. Only mistake I saw was over throwing Frank other then that he can’t control the center. Lets stay faithful to our team and cheer them on as we win the Div and make it to the playoffs. Glad to see Willis reintroduce hisself to Bush. Hope Bush recover quickly hate to see players get hurt. Niner Nation for life!

  30. By Luis García on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    The team gave a great game yesterday expected to continue playing that way and certainly the win came soon, yesterday played with heart, continue on this path to victory

  31. By Danny in Livermore on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Hope some niners players see this… Chin up guys, you played well except for the mistakes obviously. Some were critical, the turnovers, the safety, even the 30 yard completion by the Saints on the last drive to put them in position to win the game. Coach said you guys can not continue to do this if you are going to win in this league and he is right. But what I didn’t hear is how.. how are you going to do eliminate these mistakes? That is what is important. The good news is, and this is most important, everything that needs to be changed in within YOUR CONTROL, your influence and that is how you are going to get it done. It is is up to you guys and that is a good thing because we forty niner faithful believe and have faith in you!!! Go get KC and ATL and you will be right back in it! Keep the faith, we will too.

  32. By Montana Epstein on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I was on the edge of my seat last night watching the game. Good Job out playing the saints in all aspects but you guys just need to stop “dropping the ball”…. literally!!! Fix the mistakes and you guys will be a contender in the NFL.

  33. By Will Boxley on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    MY question to everyone who has said to be a “true” fan or be “faithful” or something that denotes a sign of loyalty to the team, are we to blindly follow the team even when they make mistakes *Players & Coaches* ? I for one have no problem rooting for this team.. It’s all I’ve done.. However, I take what the team was and coin it up to the team we have now.. Those expectations are the reason for my dislike for keeping Alex Smith as our “franchise” QB.. I don’t see him coming of age like Joe or Steve.. I just don’t.. Especially after last week and the first part of this game, it was obvious he was well over his head.. Only in the 4th quarter did he show a glimpse of something.. but the jury is still out with me on that one. If I wanted to blindly follow a team and not question their play calling and staffing, I’d be a Raiders fan. Those lemmings don’t know football, all they know is Silver and Black….

    The highlights of last night as with pretty much every week is Frank Gore and Patrick Willis.. I just get a kick out of those two and how they play.. I’m just hugely disappointed with how timid Alex appears and his inability to keep the ball out of the other team’s hands.

  34. By Herbert Endo on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    The offensive line did well and the two rookie starters are holding their own. Good job all of you.

  35. By JFW49er on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Frustrated is how I feel as a fan. This is supposed to be the year we finally win the division after all the years of drought. Our defense is GREAT and we have weapons on offense, but it is the quarterback that is holding us back. Alex needs to play like he did the final drive. He needs to carry himself, for the rest of the season, with the same determination and sense of urgency that he showed. Determination and sense of urgency needs to occur on the first play and the last play of the game. I do not feel he has that or understands that. He needs to continue to run and pick-up yards and not force things that are not there. He is smart enough, he just needs to put it altogether and it needs to be this season. Good luck Alex, we need you!

  36. By Victor Mello on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Good game, niners could have won. Alex Smith is a inconsistent QB, just like Cal’s Kevin Riley. Smith has no touch on his balls, hence many tipped passes same thing for the last 6 years. Don’t tell me Saints have a good defense they don’t, opportunistic yes, good no. Last years Saints defensive ranking 25th out of 32 teams. They win because of offense, just like last night. However, Saints offense is not hitting on all cylinders right now.

  37. By Saintfan2010 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    The Saints did the same thing to the vikings last year in the NFC championship game. They caused turnovers and won. To top it off, they beat them again this year. Great game 49’ers but same thing will happen in playoffs. Saints will win and Gore can go cry again.

  38. By Saintfan2010 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings said the same thing. We beat them with turnovers and again without as many. The Saints will stomp you guys on our home turf. Good luck on the rest of the season. Hope you guys make it to the playoffs.

  39. By Mikemix86 on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Good Game, but the only thing that matters is the W or L next to your team name. I just hope this opens the 49ers eyes. You just stood up to a great team and now you need to believe in yourselves and finish the season with all Wins. Lets take this division! It shouldn’t be hard!

  40. By Greg Wright on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I still say the 49ers need a Quarterback But Alex Smith I give you credit you play a good game last night.

  41. By Georgia Girl on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    While not a 49er fan, I love pro football and the whole family watched the game last night until the (unfortunately) bitter end. We were rooting for you! It was one of the most amazing games I have seen in a long time. You are tough, you are scrappers and Totally Awesome!!

  42. By Louie on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Niners will make the playoffs, Alex Smith had a great game, offense played great the defense played even better, although it doesn’t matter what game your playing, NFL, Rugby or soccer if you continue to turn over the ball you will have a great chance in losing. Four turnovers is a lot and some were unlucky with tips.

    The niners overall looked great, and if you guys continue to support them as you did at the last game that will go a long way. Go the 12th man.

    Big fan from Sydney Aus

  43. By Noteriety on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Alex will do well.

    To Will Boxley, I think the difference between blindly following your team and having faith is to know the difference b/w progress and not expecting miracles. Where a true fan lies is that they recognize progress through all of the mistakes.

    You don’t expect a miraculous turnaround in a half a season. What might look bad at first can turn into something great when all the kinks are worked out.

    Alex looked better. The D looked better. The Oline looked amazingly better. Crabtree looked better.

    I have faith the niners will win the NFC West.

  44. By One NINIER on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Even though they lost last night they showd alot. This is a game of inches. Alex Smiths pass thrown 3 inches to the left misses the guys hand that tips the ball, Crabtree catches the pass and probably scores. Thats football, thats life. STOP CALLING FOR JOE AND STEVE. We all loved those years and those players but THEY ARE NOT COMING BACK! Steves not coming back and neither is Joe our Jerry. If your a TRUE fan you root for who you have and they have promise. How would you like to have a team like the Bills! This team is who they are and who we have. I want Alex to play to his full potential just like I want Vernon and Crabtree and Josh and Frank and the Line. If they do that they will be the NEW playoff caliber Niners, not a remake of the past!

  45. By Victor Mello on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Noteriety- not going to take much to win this division. 7-9 will do it. I don’t see anybody in that division, other than niners, winning more than 5 games.

  46. By Danny G on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    As a Saints fan, I was impressed with your defense and how well you guys played in the final minutes. They left to much time for Brees. All the comments about Saints being lucky is not true. Like any team you make your breaks. The 49ers will be just fine. Look foreward to seeing you in the Dome for the playoffs. Great Job for both teams

  47. By Dew on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    They niner fans lets not forget this team is VERY young, BUT experience WILL result in wins so until then there will be some growing pains but I do see the niners taking the division if they keep up monday nights intensity and key players remain healthy. GO NINERS!

  48. By Danny in Livermore on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with Danny G. What we saw in the Niners last night is what the Saints were doing two years ago (close but still making some mistakes) and have been able to overcome last year. That is why they are champions. If you are a contender and you want to win, you need to knock out the champ to win. That put’s it in your control. If you don’t control, you have to hope for the decision at the end of the fight, and that is out of your control and also influenced by your opponent. And with that comes the opportunity to win or lose but now you are not the last word. That is the reality of the situation, accept it, learn from it, and move on. From the other side, the Saints did what they had to do to win, they drove the ball down and kicked the field goal. They took care of what they had control of and won. Good game, good lesson, god teams, nothing to feel bad about.

  49. By roeher on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Absolutely great game. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the season pans out. The Seahawks game was a disappointment. This one was a shining moment for the team. If Alex Smith stays as poised and confident as he was on that final drive, this team will be scary this season. Gore was also impressive, keeping the ball moving on the ground and taking some pressure off the passing game. Defense is always stellar, although I am a bit biased (I live in Huntingdon, TN, just 10 miles from where Patrick Willis went to high school)

    Keep up the good work, and I hope Singletary and Raye are in San Francisco for a long time to come.

  50. By TruNinerFaith on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    Will Boxely. Please go root for another team. You are not a niner fan. You can come back to the niners when they start winning. You are fake and need to understand that. I wish people like you who claim to be niner fans would just go join the raiders or something.

  51. By WhoDatNatio9 on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    As a Saints fan, my hat goes off to the Niners! They played a great game! However, I keep hearing niners fans saying they made all kinds of mistakes and I don’t think that was the case. I think the Saints opportunistic D went in and created turnovers because that’s what they do. There were tipped balls, stripped balls (Jonathan vilma in the redzone), and great hustle to recover fumbles! The Saints went into a huge homefield advantage and did what Champions do, WIN!!

  52. By Will Boxley on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    TruNinerFaith—I’m glad you got me pegged.. Maybe I should start posting under an alias to show that I am a TRU NINER FAITHFUL… amirite? Back to the topic though.. Notoreity- I don’t expect miracles, I do expect consistency, and Alex hasn’t had it.. Others here have said it as well, he has no zip on his passes which give a defense plenty of time to react.. I can’t say as to why, but he appears timid (with the exception of the last drive )when throwing to his receivers. which means the small pocket he may have implodes or the passes come up errant. AS with anyone here I’d like to see us win the division and be competitive in the playoffs, I just hope this kid figures it out, because right now he’s holding us back.

  53. By jack on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply


  54. By Ken on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    Alex, man, for short (5-25 yards) passes, just JUMP UP & throw!!!! You did that on a pass to the right for a completed pass to GORE & I can see that it was the smoothest short throw you ever done. It was due to you JUMPING UP when you threw it! When you planted your feet, you got too much power from your legs, especially your planting rear leg. Together with your powerful arm, planted legs just won’t do it right for the power you have! It’s just like trying to run 15 mph on a Ferrari—it’s impossible to run smoothly at 15mph on a Ferrari, you have to jerk the car a lot to keep it at 15mph. In short, JUMP when you throw short passes. Looking forward to your Eagles’ game.

  55. By Ken on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    Moreover, Alex, when you JUMP UP & throw short passes, you can avoid getting your pass SWAT by the defensive line for short passes (5-25 yards).

  56. By Martin on Sep 24, 2010 | Reply

    Can somebody tell me why Westbrook is on the team if we plan on not using him? He would be great as a one, two knockout punch with Frank. I know we want to use him if Frank goes down. I think we have a back up in Dixon if Frank was to be injured.

    I say really give defenses something to worry about with both Frank and Brian in at the same time. That defense would crap in their pants with both of those play makers on the field at the same time.

    Westbrook is an amazing athlete as we all know. Used to screen us to death. All I am saying is utilize his talent. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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