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MMQB: 49ers sitting pretty in NFC playoff race after beating Saints

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The 49ers, who came into Sunday’s big NFC showdown against the Saints with double-digits in the win column, have had their share of signature moments through this renaissance of a 2019 season. And with many of those wins credited to the defense, it was about time they got one on offense.

It was no surprise, either, that this game would come down to offense. The two teams had combined for 24 possessions, 91 points scored and just four punts. Each was over 450 yards in yards from scrimmage. Neither of the very proud defenses on the Superdome turf could do much to stop anything.

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San Francisco was looking at fourth-and-two at its own 33-yard line with just 39 seconds showing, New Orleans leading 46–45. Head coach Kyle Shanahan called his second timeout and sent Jimmy Garoppolo in with a concept to beat man coverage that would have tight end George Kittle motioning across the bottom of a bunch formation, behind Kendrick Bourne and Emmanuel Sanders, with the idea to create space for Kittle to get the two yards needed.

“I had a pretty good feeling on it,” QB Jimmy Garoppolo told me from the winning locker room, about half an hour after the game. “But you still have to win the route. And George did a great job of that, kind of using the other guys as a natural pick.




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