Saints lose Drew Brees, cruise past 49ers anyway

Drew Brees did not play in the second half of the Saints’ 27-13 victory over the 49ers and his outlook for Week 11 will be a focus of discussion in the days to come.

Brees did not play in the second half after injuring his ribs on a hit by 49ers defensive lineman Kentavius Street. Brees was able to play the rest of the first half, but Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill took the quarterback snaps the rest of the way.

Winston was 6-of-10 for 73 yards and Hill ran eight times for 45 yards, although it remains to be seen if they’ll remain in place for next weekend’s game against the Falcons.

The Saints relied on Alvin Kamara before and after Brees’ injury. He finished the game with 98 offensive yards and three touchdowns to power an offense that only picked up 237 yards over the entire game.

Hill lost a fumble and Deonte Harris muffed a punt, but the 49ers were sloppier. They muffed a pair of punts and Nick Mullens threw a pair of interceptions to help turn a 10-0 lead into a 14-point loss. Brandon Aiyuk and Jordan Reed had their moments, but the undermanned 49ers offense simply didn’t have enough in the tank to hang with the Saints once the home team found its footing.

They’ll hope to get some players back after their Week 11 bye, but riding a three-game losing streak and an 4-6 mark into that bye offers little hope that the 2019 NFC champs will be making it back to the postseason.

New Orleans has a different picture, although the word on Brees will help paint how it looks in the near term.