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49ers start fast but fizzle thereafter in loss to Saints

Kendrick Bourne
Kendrick Bourne ad the 49ers fell to the Saints on Sunday. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers can’t seem to catch a break, and Sunday’s game proved just that.

The 49ers took another loss to the New Orleans Saints, falling 27-10, putting them last in their division with a 4-6 record.

San Francisco was without several essential players on Sunday, including George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo and Richard Sherman, ultimately making it that much more difficult for the 49ers to find a way to win.

The first quarter gave fans a glimpse of hope as the team started off strong and jumped out to a 10-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long. In the second quarter, punt returner Trent Taylor called for a fair catch but the ball hit 49ers cornerback Ken Webster and the Saints recovered at the 21-yard line. Five plays later, the referees whistled 49ers defensive end Kentavius Street on a questionable call.

Street broke through the offensive line, taking down quarterback Drew Brees and falling to the side. Street was called for roughing the passer, causing fans to rip the refs for the call on social media.

San Francisco’s backup quarterback Nick Mullens completed 24-of-38 for 247 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for a passer rating of 68.7.

“Right now, I’m really frustrated by the loss," Mullens said. "I feel like we really could have done some special things out there."

Despite the loss, Mullens remains hopeful.

“We’ve got a resilient group," he said. "We got a bye week, and then we have six games. I feel like we can win games, we can win a lot of games. But you gotta play disciplined football and that’s gonna be the mindset going forward. Just disciplined football and we’re just gonna put our heads down and go to work."

The revenge tour for the 49ers has seemed to come to a halt this season as the injuries continue to grow. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said running back Jamycal Hasty sustained a fractured collarbone, adding to the list of players whose season has ended due to an injury. Shanahan said that in order for the Niners to win on Sunday the team needed to come out strong.

“We all knew we had to play some real good football coming into today," Shanahan said. "I was real impressed with the guys with just how hard they were going for it.,

“But if you don’t get the turnovers fixed it doesn’t matter what our situation is I know we’re missing some people, but I think if we took care of the ball better today we would have had a very good chance to be in that game. But we didn’t, we blew an opportunity there.”

Rooking defensive tackle JaVon Kinlaw shined bright Sunday as the rookie registered his first career sack against Saints’ Taysom Hill to force a punt.

“I mean, it’s just one," Kinlaw said. "It’s just one.”

Kinlaw finished the game with three tackles, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits.

“I feel like everything was firing today, making plays when it counted," Kinlaw said.

Brandon Aiyuk, the McQueen High alum, also played well and continues to prove he's one of the 49ers' top offensive players. With two muffed punts on Sunday, Shanahan told reporters he might look to Aiyuk to get the job done as a punt returner.

"He’s been out, trying to get back healthy and trying to get him started going at receiver first," Shanahan said. "But something we definitely got to look to with what happened today.”

Aiyuk had seven receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. The rookie is up to 446 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns, 61 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns this year.

The 49ers head into Week 11 with a bye and will get some much needed rest.

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