San Francisco forced two Alvin Kamara fumbles to become the first team in nearly 21 years to hold New Orleans scoreless, and the 49ers beat the Saints 13-0 on Sunday for their fourth straight win.
The Niners (7-4) set the tone on defense from the opening drive, when Fred Warner forced a Kamara fumble that he recovered, and they didn’t let up from there.
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They stopped the Saints (4-8) near the goal line twice in the second half, including another fumble by Kamara to post their first shutout since beating Washington 9-0 on Oct. 20, 2019.
New Orleans had the longest and fourth-longest active scoring streak in NFL history at 332 games since San Francisco shut them out in the 2001 Finals.
Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 222 yards and a touchdown, and San Francisco won on a day when the offense wasn’t working and the running game was stifled.
The Niners entered the game without allowing a second-half point in three straight games, but wanted to deliver a commanding 60-minute performance on defense.
They accomplished that feat and haven’t allowed a point in more than 94 minutes of game action. They are also the fifth team since 1991 to go four straight games without allowing a second-half point.
Andy Dalton passed for 204 yards and the Saints were held to just 63 on the ground.
JAUAN JENNINGS OF THE 49ERS SHOWS INCREDIBLE FOCUS ON A GREAT TOUCH CATCH VS. SAINTS
Wil Lutz missed a 48-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter after Ryan Ramczyk made a false start as the Saints tried to go for it on fourth-and-five.
Kamara fumbled near the goal line again on a wild play in the fourth quarter. Talanoa Hufanga released him and Juwan Johnson nearly caught him in the end zone for a Saints touchdown.
But the ball fumbled after Johnson was hit by Hassan Ridgeway, and Dre Greenlaw recovered at the 1-yard line to keep the Saints off the scoreboard.
San Francisco then stopped the Saints after a first and goal from the 4-yard line when Nick Bosa sacked Dalton on fourth down.
The Niners came out by for the second week in a row, with Garoppolo throwing a career-high 28 passes in the first half, the most by a 49ers QB in a first half in 13 years.
But it didn’t lead to much scoring, as San Francisco settled for a field goal on the opening drive and then scored on Garoppolo’s 5-yard TD pass to Jauan Jennings with 13 seconds remaining in the half.
During a third-quarter series for the 49ers, the officials called penalties on four straight plays. A Garoppolo interception was negated by an illegal contact penalty on Chris Harris Jr. to start the barrage of flags.
Then San Francisco center Jake Brendel was called for waiting on the next play, followed by a passer roughing on Malcolm Roach and an illegal change on Kyle Juszczyk.
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Santos: CB PJ Williams (knee) was injured in the first half.
49ers: RB Elijah Mitchell left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return. … OL Spence Burford (ankle) also left in the second half and didn’t return.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Santos: Visit Tampa Bay on December 5th.
49ers: Host Miami on Sunday.