The 49ers prevail on the road 31-21 to run their unbeaten streak to five games and their overall record to 8-2-1. They're now up 2.5 games in the NFC West, thanks to Seattle's loss at Miami, and it will hard to cough up that lead with five games to play.
Colin Kaepernick was good, not great in his second start, and while he and Jim Harbaugh will draw most of the headlines from this game, the story was how dominant the pass rush was in the second half and how thoroughly they throttled the Saints front and took them out of anything they were trying to do offensively.
The Niners got big games from some unlikely people such as Delanie Walker and Bruce Miller, while their big names were mostly dormant. It didn't matter, their offense just had too much depth, and too much play-making ability from Kaepernick, to be contained.
Drew Brees had three touchdown passes for the Saints, but also two for the Niners, with both Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner snatching pick sixes against him in a four minute span overlapping the second and third quarters to turn the game around.
The loss drops the Saints to 5-6, but their playoff chances haven't been officially killed off just yet since all the wild card hopefuls ahead of them (Dallas, Tampa Bay, Seattle and Minnesota) also lost games this week.