What we learned

The Saints can’t make mistakes — especially on offense — against a defense that has as much talent as the 49ers. When Drew Brees tossed back-to-back pick-sixes, the second one early in the third quarter, the Saints were down 28-14 and had a tall hill to climb.

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With their fourth-string right tackle having to go in early in the game, the Saints’ offensive line was at a real disadvantage against the 49ers’ attacking defense. The Niners recorded five sacks in the second half — one more than the Saints gave up in their previous five games.

Final thoughts

While the loss hurt, the Saints, who had won five of their previous six games, aren’t out of the playoff race at 5-6 with five games remaining. But they must win their next two at Atlanta on Thursday night and the New York Giants (Dec. 9) to stay in it.

Sheldon Mickles