49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 28, 2008
Live from the Big Easy, Saints-49ers blog

Here are the 49ers' inactives:

3rd QB Jamie Martin
CB Marcus Hudson
CB Reggie Brown
CB Shawntae Spencer
LB Ahmad Brooks
C Cody Wallace
T Jonas Jennings
LB Tully Banta-Cain

It seems like Donald Strickland is back in the lineup, meaning the 49ers could go nickel and dime against the Saints today. Bryant Johnson (hamstring) looks like he'll start ...

For New Orleans:

WR Marques Colston
CB Randall Gay
RB Aaron Stecker
CB Aaron Glenn
FB Mike Karney
T Jermon Bushrod
TE Jeremy Shockey
DE Josh Savage

Looks like LT Jammal Brown and WR David Patten are playing, although Lance Moore will start in place of Patten ...

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* Don't expect to see much Manny Lawson today. The 49ers are in their Big Sub packages against the pass-happy Saints ... Safety Dashon Goldson started. It does seem, however, as if the 49ers will blitz more than they did against Seattle. Brees already has been blitzed -- effectively -- twice ...

* JTO looks good on the 49ers' first drive. It's extremely noisy in here. JTO, however, locks in on Bruce on the 3rd-and-7 play and his pass is nearly INT'd in the end zone. Nedney kicks a 47-yard FG and it's 3-0.

* Takeo Spikes is having a great game. Brees tries to go 20 yards downfield to Devery Henderson and Spikes INTs it midway. He lepas up, knocks it down with one hand, and comes down w/ the ball. 49ers 1st down at own 37.

* JTO goes with a hot read on 3rd down but the Saints are all over it; break up pass to Bryant Johnson. PUNT. Saints 1st down at own 17.

* Saints marching into 49ers territory. Billy Miller shaken up. Do the Saints have any more TE's? ... 3rd 12, Brees overthrows David Patten; Saints have to punt. Great start for 49ers defense. END 1Q


* JTO's weakness -- holding onto ball too long. He's sacked on back-to-back plays, fumbling on the second. Saints ball at 49ers 32.

* Walt Harris may have been excellent last week, but he's getting eaten up by the Brees-to-Lance Moore combo. Brees just hit Moore twice, including for a 5-yard TD. 7-3 Saints.

* Facing 3rd and 1, JTO's quick slant to Bruce is WAY off the mark. Punt. JTO now sitting on bench getting face-to-face from Mike Martz

* The Saints are running well against the 49ers' nickel package. Big surprise, right? ... Lawson now in the game ...

* Moore blows bye Goldson for a 33-yard TD. Is wide open. Maybe this is why Goldson doesn't start ... 14-3, 3 min. left in game ...

* JTO sacked again, this time on corner blitz. That's the 17th sack this year. 2nd and 18 with 2:26 left in half.

* 3rd and 9, JTO and Bruce again off. JTO reads blitz and throws quick to Bruce. Bruce, however, continues running route, inc. Nedney, however, nails a 48 yarders. 14-6 w/ 1;37 left in half.

* Brees again victimizes Goldson w/ 18 yarder to Billy Miller. Brees hits Meacham deep for TD. Beat Roman handily on the play. 21-6 Saints. w/ 52 seconds left. There was absolutely zero pressure on Brees on that drive.

* Three straight incompletions -- two of them drops -- prompt 49ers to punt. Running into kicker penalty is declines. Saints kneel to end half.... Brees goes into halftime w/ 195 yards, more than any opposing QB has had ALL GAME against SF this year ...


* 49ers offense looks much better to start 2nd half and haven't abandoned running game. But drive stalls deep in Saints territory -- sack No. 18 on season -- and SF settles for Nedney 38 yarder. 21-9.

* BTW, the Saints are playing an excellent cat-and-mouse game as far as the 49ers' Big Sub defense is concerned. When the Niners are in Big Sub, they pound away with Deuce McAlister; when they get out of it, Brees goes deep. ... Lawson (hamstring) is Q to return to the game

* 49ers driving late in 3rd Q. Not giving up on the run. They just used their second timeout before critical 3rd-and-2 call ... Gore gains 7 on draw. 1st down on Saints 36 ...

* JTO, who was nearly picked off in the end zone earliuer in the game, throws a horrible soft pass to Bryant Johnson that is picked off by the Saints ... 1st down Saints at 9 ... JTO, BJ and Martz are now having a pow wow on the bench ...

* 49ers in Big Sub so Saints pounding with Deuce ... Saints just did a flea flicker. 49ers read it perfectly but M. Lewis can't make play on the ball on 52-yard gain. END of 3Q

* The last two 49ers-Saints games were 34-10 and 31-10. this one is now 28-9 after Deuce McAllister's 1-yard plunge.

* Wow. Another bad pass in the end zone by JTO, this one picked off by rookie CB Tracy Porter.

* While JTO struggles, Brees just threw an 81-yard near-TD to Devery Henderson, who was tripped up at the 1 by Nate Clements. Brees could very well be the best QB in the NFL right now. ... It's now 4th and 1. ... Brees throws to fullback, who is crushed by Michael Lewis and fumbles at the 1-inch line ... Saints challenging that he got in ... Play stand. 49ers ball at NO 3 yard line ...

* JTO scrambles and hits Bruce for 5-yard TD; Shovel pass to Gore get the 49ers to 29-17 w/ 4:08 remaining ...


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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