The 17-0 lead the San Francisco 49ers once had has already been cut to a 17-7 advantage. It's possible that the New Orleans Saints will shave even more points off the Niners' lead in San Francisco before halftime, too.
San Francisco responded to the Saints' first score of the day with a feeble drive that followed the conservative offense textbook to the letter: two short runs by Frank Gore were followed by a pass play on third down, but Alex Smith checked down and found Gore, who couldn't get to the sticks, prompting Andy Lee's first punt since the first San Francisco drive of the day.
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To make matters worse, center Jonathan Goodwin limped off the field after being injured on the third down pass. If he cannot return, his absence may force a reshuffling of the Niners' offensive line.