With franchise quarterback Drew Brees sidelined by a rib injury, the New Orleans Saints turned to their defense to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 27-13 in front of 6,000 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Nov. 15.
The defense delivered.
All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis notched a game high 12 tackles, while cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson tallied eight total tackles, including his first career sack. Defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and Patrick Robinson each intercepted San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens.
Special teams played a factor in the field position game for New Orleans.
It took the Saints offense while to get going, but a 75-yard Deonte Harty kick return sparked the first score of the game, a 49-yard Wil Lutz field goal.
Brees completed 8-of-13 passes for 76 yards and one score before exiting the game with a rib injury at halftime. He took a hard hit in the second quarter on a sack by 49ers defensive end Kentavius Street. Street was called for unnecessary roughness on the play.
"He took a heavy shot in the first half," Saints Coach Sean Payton said during his postgame press conference. "As he came out in the second half, he felt it was really impacting him. He'll get an MRI and x-rays. His back felt sore. As he tried to throw, he just came up to me and said, 'Hey, I don't feel like I'm capable of playing.' And so quickly we made the switch, and you know, that happens sometimes."
"I was not going to be able to be effective," Brees said. "It had nothing to do with pain. It was definitely just what my body was going to be able to do or not be able to do."
Jameis Winston's first pass replacing Brees went for a first down. Winston completed 6-of-10 passes for 63 yards, while Taysom Hill carried the ball eight times for 45 yards from the quarterback position.
"My main job is to serve my teammates and help put us in a position to win the football game," Winston said during his postgame press conference. "I am happy we had a great team win today."
Five quarterbacks took at least one snap between the two teams in Sunday's contest.
Saints star running back Alvin Kamara hauled in seven receptions for 83 yards and a score and added two short rushing touchdowns.
In addition to Brees, the Saints had these players leave the game with injuries. Josh Hill, Tre'Quan Smith, Marshon Lattimore and Malcom Brown.
New Orleans (7-2) maintains a half-game lead on Tampa Bay (7-3) in the NFC South race.
The Saints host the arch-rival Atlanta Falcons at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22 on Fox as New Orleans will try to win its seventh consecutive game. The 49ers (4-6) head into their bye week.
For complete Saints-49ers stats click here.
New Orleans Saints fans and cheer on the team from inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season.