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San Francisco 49ers edge New Orleans Saints in 94-point thriller

By Connor Grott
1/8
San Francisco 49ers edge New Orleans Saints in 94-point thriller
With seconds left on the clock, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) picks up 39 yards and a face mask penalty, putting the 49ers in position to kick the winning field goal as time expires Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The San Francisco 49ers moved to the top of the NFC with a thrilling 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The victory kept the 49ers (11-2) in the hunt for the top seed in the NFC playoffs. San Francisco can secure a postseason berth if the Seattle Seahawks lose to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

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Jimmy Garoppolo guided the 49ers on a game-winning drive in the closing seconds of the game. Robbie Gould booted a 30-yard field goal as time expired to seal the victory.

Garoppolo completed 26-of-35 passes for 349 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's win. On fourth-and-2 from the 49ers' 33-yard line, the former New England Patriots signal-caller found tight end George Kittle for a 39-yard gain to set up Gould's game-winning kick.

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The Saints (10-3) initially grabbed a 46-45 lead with 53 seconds left after Drew Brees connected with receiver Tre'Quan Smith on an 18-yard touchdown, his fifth passing score of the game. Brees' pass attempt on a two-point conversion fell incomplete, leaving the Saints' lead at one point.

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49ers receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a team-high seven receptions for 157 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. He also threw his second-career touchdown pass after taking a handoff on a reverse.

Garoppolo delivered two touchdown passes to receiver Kendrick Bourne. Kittle finished with six catches for 67 yards and a receiving score.

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Raheem Mostert led the 49ers' backfield with 10 carries for 69 yards and a rushing touchdown. He added two receptions for 40 yards and a receiving score. San Francisco's rushing attack combined for 162 yards on 24 carries, averaging 6.8 yards per rush.

Brees was 29-of-40 passing for 349 yards and five touchdowns. He added a one-yard rushing touchdown.

Michael Thomas notched 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown. Jared Cook had two catches for 64 yards and two scores.

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The 49ers will play the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) next Sunday, while the Saints will host the Indianapolis Colts (6-7).

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