Welcome to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong! This week, it’s the Saints win over the San Francisco 49ers.
1st Down: Good Defensive Performance in 2nd Half
The Saints defense had some hiccups late in the first half allowing the 49ers to get within eight points in the second quarter, but they shut the door in the second half forcing three turnovers. They allowed the Saints offense to get the job done on Sunday and only allowed a field goal in the third quarter. If this defense can put a complete game together, a winning record could be within reach for this team that has now won four of their last five.
2nd Down: Angry Ingram Returns
After being benched for two fumbles in consecutive games, Mark Ingram returned and had the second best game of his career with 158 yards and the longest run of his career, a 75-yard touchdown. Before the big run, he had a TD thanks to a pass from Drew Brees but it popped out after the play. He walked off the field looking frustrated with himself for not holding on to the football because it has been a point of emphasis for the back out of Alabama all week. That run was a big deal for him because he didn’t fumble the ball away and let it known saying some choice words to the fans inside Levi Stadium.
3rd Down: Letting Foot Off Gas Too Early
It sounds like a broken record at this point, but the Saints took the foot off the gas late in the first half after going up 21-3. Apparently they think this is a game of one on one in the park because once they get to 21, they slow down offensively and the 49ers took advantage of this and got it as close as eight points. If you want to take the crowd out of it on the road, it requires putting the foot on the gas and making a rally seem impossible. I do wonder though that perhaps this is done to try and keep people tuned in to close games because of the low ratings as of late in the NFL.
4th Down: Can Anyone Guard Mike?
Michael Thomas is making a strong case for the NFL’s rookie of the year with another good performance on Sunday afternoon. The former Buckeye has been making a case for being the next Marques Colston with great receptions throughout the season, most notably his reception in the endzone with a defender in front of him and still makes the catch for the TD. His Twitter handle seems a little bit cocky, but maybe it’s true that you can’t guard Mike.