Golden Nuggets: 49ers 31, Saints 21; Colin Kaepernick, defense lead the way

Chris Graythen

Monday, November 26, 2012 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Ah....Just got in from work. I got to enjoy the highlights, worry about the injuries, revel in effectively ending the Saints season for the second year in a row, and now write the Nuggets. It's sad that I hate the Saints. They were always a favorite of mine as the perennial underdog. I'll never get as much joy from watching a team that isn't the Niners win the Super Bowl. I couldn't root any harder for a second team. Yet here they are...the turds of the league and they seem to hold us responsible. To quote a great 20th century poet, "Today was a good day."

What are everyone's thoughts on the quarterback situation at this point. I have to state, I haven't watched the game yet. I've seen the highlights, but have yet to sit down and soak it all in. That said, I love the big-play capabilities that the team has with Colin Kaepernick under center. I hate to see this happen to Alex Smith, who's done everything he could do given his circumstances, and I don't like that this happened after an injury, but it appears the die is cast.

As for the links, there are a ton of them, and since I short-changed you guys yesterday, I'm doing a mega-Nuggets today. If I ever get fired from my 'job' here, I'll start a rival site and do Mega Golden Nuggets. Maybe the site can be called Mega Niners Nation. Hmmm.... you gotta love a good business venture. Oh...and don't you love the photo?!?! It looks like Justin Smith is ripping the number off of his back!

Week 12: 49ers 31, Saints 21

There are a hundred recaps. I'm randomly choosing one, from Eric Branch at SF Gate to speak for all of them. You should already know this stuff, anyway. | Kaepernick, defense lead way in 31-21 win over Saints (Branch)

Here are some thoughts on the game from James Brady of Golden Nuggets fame. He singles out Ted Ginn Jr. for his fumble, saying he looks tentative and has been making bad decisions. He notes how well Kaepernick faked the handoff to Kendall Hunter on his touchdown run. I'm pretty sure it's the same play that Hunter scored on against the Bears, with Kaepernick keeping it this time. | 49ers vs Saints postgame: Some notes from San Francisco's win (Brady)

Matt Maiocco outs his two cents in. He singles out drops by Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, and Michael Crabtree. They were Kaepernick's first three incompletions of the day. Kaep's hot start, with Mario Manningham as the primary target, are also mentioned. I'd love to see Mario Manningham get more chances in space. He seems to make good things happen when he gets the ball. | Maiocco's instant replay: 49ers 31, Saints 21 (Maiocco)

Cam Inman has a recap with some thoughts. He notes that Kaepernick not getting sacked was largely a product of his ability to see and avoid danger. That's definitely been a problem for Alex Smith this season. | 49ers, led by Colin Kaepernick and defense, beat Saints 31-21 (Inman)

Who would you give the Player of the Game award to? Ahmad Brooks, that's who! He played great in front of a lot of family, having an interception return for a score, 1.5 sacks and various other stats that impress. | Notes: Brooks shines, Randy Moss defends, Williams suffers serious knee injury. (Barrows)

Our defense really set the tone. Not only did they return two interceptions for touchdowns, they also sacked Drew Brees 5 times, never letting him get comfortable. Holding the Saints to their second lowest point total of the season, at their dome, in a game they desperately needed is a massive accomplishment for the 49ers. | 49ers' defense gets the best of Brees (Maiocco)

Here's a good bit about the game-changing interception by Ahmad Brooks. It looked like a really bad read by Drew Brees. But, it was the first time this season that Ahmad Brooks has dropped into pass coverage on a long yardage play instead of rushing the passer. Might it have fooled Brees? Before that play it looked as though the Saints had wrestled away the momentum. | Fangio, Brooks team up for wrinkle that ruins Saints (Branch)

More notes on the game from Eric Branch. Vernon Davis was held without a reception and Aldon Smith is still on fire. At least the 49ers' sacks came against a good line and not the Bears or Cardinals (where 10 of their 22 sacks had come from through the first 10 games), two teams with atrocious lines. | Vernon Davis shut out on receptions (Branch)

Good job BASG. He has notes from the game and one that I really like is that, had it not been for the three drops near the start of the game, Kaepernick would have finished with 80% completion percentage for nearly 300 yards. I can't wait for his first monster game. With his ability to find guys down the field, it's only a matter of time before he throws for 400 and 4 touchdowns. | 49ers win wild, painful game in New Orleans (BASG)

Kaepernick also got things going with Delanie Walker. Two big plays from Walker helped get the 49ers down the field in a hurry. | Rapid reaction: 49ers 31, Saints 21 (Sando)

Here are a ton of notes on the game from CBS Sports' Guerry Smith. He notes that the 49ers' 375 yards of total offense was the best effort by the Saints defense this season. I noticed that we had two less possessions after the pick sixes, so our offense was handicapped in that regard. | Postgame analysis: 49ers 31, Saints 21 (CBS Sports)

You have to hope for the best with these injuries suffered in the game. Kyle Williams' knee injury looks to be the worst, and at this point it appears he tore some ligaments. If Kendall Hunter misses time, we may see our top-two draft choices A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James suit up for some action. James is the only other change of pace back we have to the three bruisers, Frank Gore, Anthony Dixon and Brandon Jacobs. | 49ers fear Kyle Williams tore knee ligaments (Branch)

Why on earth would you kick Alex Boone in the head? It doesn't look like it was done with full-force, but Brodrick Bunkley's shin kick while Boone was down will warrant a suspension and mires the Saints in further disrepute. The game was being billed as the game of the week and, with last season's thrilling playoff matchup and the bounty scandal that followed fresh in everyone's minds, the whole nation was watching. Dumb. | Brodrick Bunkley kicks Alex Boone in the head; fine next? (NFL.com)

Victory trumps QB confusion for the 49ers (Sando)

Colin Kaepernick, defense lead 49ers past Saints (Gin)

Grading the 49ers against New Orleans (Branch)

Postgame report: 49ers 31, Saints 21 (Inman)

49ers notebook: Delanie Walker, Kyle Williams, Kendall Hunter suffer injuries against Saints (Inman)

Quarterback situation

Our very own James Brady weighs in with some poignant thoughts about on the QB situation. The title says it all. | Alex Smith's 49ers got the job done, Colin Kaepernick's may be able to take it a step further. (Brady)

You don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but you have to hope that Coach Harbaugh is being more forthright to his QBs about their status than he is to the media. It would be bad for morale, otherwise. | Harbaugh mum on QB future, despite Kaepernick's big game (Barrows)

This has some random info from the game, but much of it deals with the QB situation, including different 49ers' words on the subject. | Notes and quotes: Harbaugh still won't name next week's starter (Lynch)

Tim Kawakami makes a compelling case for CK as the 49ers' starting QB going forward. One example is the 9.2 yards per pass attempt for the 49ers under Kaepernick. | Kaepernick to 2-0: Calm, accurate, victorious and now assuredly the 49ers' starting QB (official or not) (Kawakami)

Here are some more notes on why Colin Kaepernick should be the QB going forward. One key is that Kaepernick has made 10 plays of 20 yards or more in his two starts while Alex Smith has 22 in 9 starts. That's over twice as many per game. | 49ers' QB of the future taking charge (SF Gate)

Jim Harbaugh doesn't commit to Colin Kaepernick as his official starting quarterback (Inman)

49ers' Vernon Davis says Alex Smith 'still our guy' after win over Saints (USA Today)

Colin Kaepernick continues hot streak (49ers.com)

Videos

Game highlights: 49ers 31 - Saints 21 (49ers.com)

Press pass: Donte Whitner (49ers.com)

Press pass: Alex Boone (49ers.com)

Maiocco: I'll be surprised if Alex Smith gets his job back (Maiocco)

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