[Editor's Note: All of PFF's advanced stats and grades for every NFL player are made available in PFF's ELITE subscription. Subscribe today to gain access!]
PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.
All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.
PFF's ELITE subscribers can also preview NFL and NCAA games in PFF Greenline, an online dashboard with projections for the spread, totals and moneyline.
Jimmy Garoppolo played well all day, finding his receivers on crossing routes and hitting them in stride for much of the afternoon. He didn't have any big-time throws on first review, but he also had zero turnover-worthy plays. His lone interception bounced off his intended target's hands.
George Kittle had a good afternoon, including the play that ultimately set up the game-winning field goal which came on a crosser route on 4th-and-2 that he caught and immediately broke a tackle before stiff-arming another defender and carrying him for bonus yards.
Richard Sherman made a nice pass breakup on a vertical route to Josh Hill in the first quarter. Sherman also tackled Alvin Kamara for a loss in the fourth quarter. Ahkello Witherspoon broke up a third-down pass intended for Ted Ginn Jr. in the third quarter that forced a Saints’ field goal.
Nick Bosa was exceptionally active against the Saints. He generated multiple pressures, batted down a screen pass on third down and was difficult to keep out of the backfield on running plays.
Eli Apple struggled in coverage, especially in the first half where he seemed a step slow to react to crossing routes. He gave up multiple first-down receptions and had zero passes defensed in the contest.
While the Saints' defensive line managed to get some pressure in this game, they needed more from players not named Cameron Jordan. Both Marcus Davenport and Trey Hendrickson struggled to create consistent pressure off the edge in this one.
Drew Brees was exceptional in a losing effort, as he was accurate throughout the game and threw for five touchdowns. Michael Thomas continued his dominant season against the 49ers as he continues to rack up catches and yards. Thomas hauled in a 21-yard touchdown after beating Weatherspoon on a corner route.
Jared Cook caught a 38-yard touchdown down the seam in the first quarter and made Marcell Harris miss a tackle. Cook caught a 26-yard touchdown down the other seam and held onto the ball just long enough after taking a hit from Witherspoon.