Biggest studs, duds from 49ers’ shutout victory over Saints
By Scott Conrad
The 49ers squeaked out a 13-0 shutout win over the visiting Saints in Week 12, thanks to some studs and despite some duds in Sunday’s contest.
Entering their Week 12 contest with a three-game win streak after dropping two in a row, previously, the San Francisco 49ers looked to pull out a win over the visiting New Orleans Saints who entered the bout with a 4-7 record but are still somehow very much in contention for the NFC South crown despite the sub-.500 record.
In a low-scoring affair and with both offenses struggling to gain points, San Francisco nevertheless won 13-0 after posting a pair of field goals and a touchdown, improving to 7-4 on the season and maintaining its hold on the NFC West.
Let’s look at some studs and duds from the Niners’ shutout victory.
49ers duds: RBs Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey
San Francisco’s rushing attack was lacking as the pair of feature running backs, Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell combined for just 18 rushes and a total of 67 yards and no scores, and this was somewhat shocking against a New Orleans defense that was allowing an average of 4.6 yards per rush entering Week 12.
McCaffrey and Mitchell’s downfield attack was non-existent, too, as they combined for just six receptions and 25 yards with no scores, as well. In fact, in the last three games, McCaffrey has yet to clear 40 yards rushing, and since the trade for him last October, he only has three non-passing touchdowns in addition to a fumble.
In his three games back from injury, Mitchell has only had 33 rushing attempts and has yet to clear 200 yards on the season. To make matters worse, he also appeared to have sprained his MCL during the game and on the opposite knee than in Week 1.