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Saints Trail 49ers, 28-21, to Start 4th Quarter

Posted by NewOrleansSaints.com on 11/25/2012 – 11:53 pm

QB Drew Brees has completed 18 of 28 attempts for 177 yards and three touchdowns but the 49ers scored twice in the third quarter to give San Francisco a 28-14 advantage to start the fourth quarter.

Both defenses started strong as neither team was able to pick up a first down until mid-way through the first quarter.

The 49ers were able to move into scoring position following two completions to WR Mario Manningham from QB Colin Kaepernick for 53 yards. Kaepernick then faked a handoff before taking the ball seven yards into the endzone for a San Francisco touchdown. K David Akers added the extra point to give the 49ers a 7-0 advantage.

Brees and the Saints offense answered right back as Brees completed five consecutive passes on a 10 play, 79-yard drive scoring drive. Brees connected with WR Joe Morgan for a 33-yard gain on a play action pass and RB Mark Ingram carried four times to help move the Saints into scoring position. Brees then found TE David Thomas for a six-yard touchdown pass, extending his NFL-record steak of games with a touchdown pass to 54. K Garrett Hartley made the PAT to tie the game, 7-7, at the end of the first quarter.

After the New Orleans defense forced a 49ers punt to start the second quarter, the Saints were able capitalize on the first turnover of the game. After moving the ball past mid-field, the Saints were forced to punt following a penalty. WR Ted Ginn Jr. couldn’t hold on to the punt and fumbled the football. S Rafael Bush recovered the ball on the San Francisco 11-yard line to put the Saints offense in striking distance.

After a one-yard completion to RB Darren Sproles, Brees found WR Marques Colston in the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown. The reception gave Colston his 56th career touchdown and sole possession of first place on the club’s all-time list ahead of former RB Deuce McAllister (55). Hartley added the PAT to give the black and gold a 14-7 edge halfway through the second quarter.

At the end of the quarter inside the two-minute warning, Kaepernick was intercepted by CB Patrick Robinson. Two plays later, Brees was intercepted by LB Ahmad Brooks who returned the ball 50 yards for a touchdown. The play tied the score, 14-14, at halftime.

The 49ers were able to come up with a pair of big plays that moved them down into New Orleans territory to start the third quarter. Kaepernick completed a pass to TE Delanie Walker for a gain of 45 yards before RB Kendall Hunter was able to break away for a 21-yard gain on the ground. Kaepernick then completed a six-yard TD pass to RB Frank Gore and Akers added the extra point to give San Francisco a 21-14 lead.

After Brees was sacked for a loss of eight yards on first down by DE Justin Smith, he looked deep over the middle for Colston on second down. The pass was intercepted by S Donte Whitner and returned 42 yards the other way for a 49ers touchdown. Akers made the PAT and increased the San Francisco lead to 14 points.

Following a touchback on the kickoff, the Saints offense went 80 yards on eight plays. RB Chris Ivory rushed for 23 yards and Brees found WR Lance Moore for a 43-yard gain through the air. After a San Francisco penalty moved them closer to the endzone, Brees connected with FB Jed Collins on a two-yard touchdown pass. Hartley made the extra point to bring the score to 28-21 at mid-point of the third quarter.

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