Football fans saw a fabulous game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Dec. 8. The 49ers barely defeated the Saints with a final score of 48-46.
This game was meaningful, not only because both teams are vying to win their division, but because this game may determine the home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Saints scored first, but the 49ers tied it up quickly, making it obvious early on that this was going to be a high scoring game.
New Orleans then scored two quick touchdowns and took a 20-7 lead. Immediately after, San Francisco came back with a great pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a touchdown, 27-14.
The 49ers came back with two touchdowns, the first one being a double reverse. The trick play worked beautifully, and the scoreboard read 28-27 at halftime with the 49ers in the lead.
Due to the back and forth plays, it seemed that the last team to control the ball would win the game, which is exactly what happened.
In the second half, San Francisco intercepted the ball on the first drive, yet they went nowhere with it. New Orleans got their hands on the ball, but they had to settle for a field goal. The score was now 30-28, in favor of the Saints.
The 49ers recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown to take the lead back in the third quarter of the game, 35-30. The Saints got the ball back and, once again, kicked a field goal. They were now down 35-33.
San Francisco then scored a touchdown to hold a strong lead at 42-33. This was until New Orleans got the ball and scored a touchdown, narrowing the score to 42-40.
The 49ers then got the ball and, although they could not manage to get the ball into the end zone, kicked a field goal to keep the lead at 45-40. The Saints got the ball back with two minutes to go, and quarterback Drew Brees did his magic.
In his illustrious career, Brees has had many game saving touchdowns to win games in their final minutes. It appeared that he had done it again: although they missed the two-point conversion, the Saints scored with 53 seconds left and took a 46-45 lead.
However, Garappalo still had fight in him as he drove downfield once his team got the ball. He threw a short pass to tight end George Kittles who ran for almost a 35-yard gain. Kittles’ facemask was held by the Saints’ defense, causing a 15-yard penalty to be tacked on at the end of the play.
This mistake led to a 30-yard field goal by Gould, which won the game 48-46, in favor of the 49ers.
It remains to be seen as to who the division winner will be and get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. This was debatably the most important game for both teams this season, and there is no doubt that if the Saints do not win the division, they will look back at this game and kick themselves.