The Saints (5-5) put together their most dominating performance on offense, defense and special teams to produce their fifth victory in the last six games and their third straight win, defeating the Oakland Raiders 38-17, at the O.co Coliseum. The win – delivered by the club’s most efficient effort to date in all three phases – improved the Saints to 5-5, pushing New Orleans into the thick of the NFC playoff race after opening the 2012 season at 0-4.
They return to the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to take on one of the NFC’s best and hottest teams: the 7-2-1 49ers, the club that defeated the Saints in the 2011 playoffs to advance to the NFC Championship. The 49ers have also come on lately, not having posted a loss in their last four contests to lead the NFC West. On Monday night, San Francisco surged past the Chicago Bears in a 32-7 romp at Candlestick Park.
“At 0-4 our team stuck together,” said Saints assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt. “They worked hard every day and never pointed fingers. They just continued to try to improve every day. It’s paying dividends for us now as we continue to look forward.”
Last Sunday’s win featured another balanced performance on offense with no turnovers. The running game put up 153 yards on the ground led by RB
The defense harassed Oakland QB Carson Palmer all afternoon, forcing him to throw two interceptions and sacking him three times. S
New Orleans special teams were also nearly flaw-less. RB