2. The Saints’ defense, in particular, the secondary
The Saints’ defense gets a slight pass for letting the San Francisco 49ers score 48 points, but only a slight pass. That is due to the fact that the 49ers were missing both A.J. Klein and Kiko Alonso and that was something that we covered before the game as a massive issue against a team like the 49ers.
However, we predicted that to impact the running game and George Kittle‘s performance. And while it did have a ripple effect on the rest of the defense, the secondary did nothing to help the cause, which is where the biggest frustrations lie.
The Saints’ defense has been touted all year as being one of the best in the league but the one common denominator for the Saints is that they were not playing quality quarterbacks. They finally got a chance to prove it this week playing the best quarterback they have played since Deshaun Watson and they came up short.
There were several plays where 49er pass-catchers were wide-open in the middle of the field and would turn eight-yard catches into 15-20 yard plays. Marshon Lattimore, who has had some stellar games against elite competition this year, did not have a great showing.
It was an ugly game for a secondary and defense that allowed 349 passing yards, which is the second-most this season for Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers simply used their athleticism against the Saints and it worked very effectively.