NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — The lasting memory from the 49ers game will be the Drew Brees injury.
The Saints will have a new starting quarterback for at least the next few weeks.
The game Sunday was just weird.
Marquez Callaway recovered two muffed punt fumbles, there was no offensive rhythm.
Patrick Robinson got the last of six total turnovers.
That was the most of any Saints game this season.
It wasn't pretty and that's where we start our four takeaways.
This was a classic letdown game.
Last week, the Saints beat Tom Brady and the hottest team in football and beat them badly.
This week the saints faced Nick Mullens and a team that got destroyed last week.
The 49ers are such a gutted team right now and the Saints had a letdown.
They were the best third-down team in football.
51 percent coming into this one, they hit 17 percent Sunday, they turned it over twice, tied for the most this season and they ran just 56 offensive plays.
The lowest total this season.
But in a classic letdown game, the Saints found a way to win.
The Saints got one great defensive performance at each level at number three
C.J. Garnder-Johnson and Demario Davis were everywhere Sunday against the 49ers.
Davis had 12 total tackles, a sack, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.
Cj Garnder-Johnson had 8 tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
Huge numbers from both, they were outstanding.
And at number two, David Onyemata has been a rock all season.
He turned in the game's single biggest play late second quarter.
With the game tied at ten the 49ers had the ball at the Saints 41, 4th and 1.
The Niners tried to run it up the middle and Onyemata blew it up.
The Saints then marched down the field and got the go ahead score.
Onyemata and Davis are keys to one of the NFL's best rushing defenses.
Sunday, San Francisco ran it 25 times for just 49 yards.
The Saints are now second in the NFL in rushing defense and that has helped turn it all around.
In the first seven games of the season, the Saints gave up 28 points a game.
In the last two just eight a game.
That's the biggest reason for optimism going forward.
The question is takeaway number one.
Can Jameis Winston do what Teddy Bridgewater did last season?
In his career, Winston has thrown 88 interceptions in 74 games
That's 1.19 interceptions a game.
In the same time span, Drew Brees threw 36 interceptions in 82 games..
That's less than half of an interception per game meaning Winston has thrown more than two-and-a half times more interceptions than Brees.
The Saints offense is built on protecting the game and we saw some of Winston's carelessness Sunday.
Last year in his five-game run as Saints starter Teddy Bridgewater threw two interceptions exactly in line with Brees.
The Saints can do more vertically with Winston but the key to his success will be, can he get this number down?
That's the question going forward and the biggest takeaway from the injury-riddled win over the 49ers.