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Watch: Jordan Reed makes great shoestring catch

It wasn’t enough for a first down, but, dang

Screenshot from Fox NFL broadcast

The Niners are trailing at the half against the New Orleans Saints, 17-10. That’s not a huge surprise, since the Saints are a first-place team and San Francisco is missing what feels like half its roster to injury. But the 49ers are putting up a fight so far.

The Niners opened the game with a businesslike drive down the field, spending seven minutes to put together 13 plays and find the end zone. Brandon Aiyuk literally walked in the 4-yard touchdown pass.

But San Francisco’s single most impressive play so far came on another drive that went nowhere. Early in the second quarter, they got the ball at their own 25-yard line on a touchback. Two plays later they were down to third-and-9, and quarterback Nick Mullens was under some pressure from the New Orleans defense. He got rid of the ball toward the vicinity of tight end Jordan Reed, and 99 times out of 100 it probably would have hit the turf for an incomplete pass. Reed had other plans, though.

Are you kidding me?

The ball couldn’t have been more than an inch or two off the ground when Reed got his hand under it, but he never let it reach the grass and then hauled it in to maintain control. Unfortunately, he was tackled just short of the first down, and the Niners were forced to punt anyway, but Reed made that call a lot closer than it should have been.