"It's very hard to win in this league," Ambrose said. "You
have a lot of games that come down to three points or less. This
was one of those games. You have to play a full 60 minutes because
a lot of them are going to be settled in the last few minutes."
The Saints spent the week in San Antonio, practicing on three
different fields while they worried about their homes. McAllister,
who sprained his right ankle on the third play, spent the rest of
the day on the sideline in an orthopedic boot. McAllister will have
an MRI exam on Monday.
New Orleans got after Dorsey, who was making his first NFL
start. He was sacked twice, pressured constantly, and completed
only six of 13 passes in the first half. By the second half,
however, the Saints seemed to back off and Dorsey found a better
rhythm, finishing with 18-for-32 for 205 yards.
"I don't know if you can ask a rookie to do any better than he
did," said San Francisco coach Dennis Erickson. "He didn't make a
lot of mistakes."
The 49ers outgained New Orleans 370 yards to 302 and outrushed
the Saints 180 yards to 46.
"Dorsey is a smart quarterback," Ambrose said. "I've got a
lot of respect for him. To be as young as he is and as smart as he
is. He got the ball out when he had to and read coverages."
Brooks was sacked on New Orleans' first play, then the Saints'
initial drive ended when McAllister fumbled and the 49ers
recovered. Kevan Barlow ran 60 yards on the next play to the Saints
5. Dorsey was sacked on the next two plays, setting up a 30-yard
field goal by Todd Peterson.
Barlow had 114 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
"That was the toughest loss," Barlow said. "I'd rather be
blown out than get beat that way."
New Orleans needed only three plays to score its first
touchdown. Brooks hit Stallworth for 45 yards, and two plays later
Brooks threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Joe Horn to put the Saints
up 7-3. Brooks completed 25 of 34 for 279 yards and three
Stallworth, whose winning TD came with 1:01 remaining, had 113
yards on nine receptions. Horn had 94 yards on eight catches.
John Carney added a 33-yard field goal to give New Orleans a
10-3 edge. San Francisco came back Barlow's 10-yard touchdown run
that tied it.
The Saints regained the lead when Brooks hit Jerome Pathon for a
37-yard touchdown. Carney's second field goal, a 36-yarder, gave
New Orleans a 20-10 lead.
Saints cornerback Fakhir Brown drew a 31-yard pass interference
call and six plays later, Barlow had a 1-yard touchdown run to make
Carney started the second half with a 37-yard field goal. San
Francisco answered quickly with a 33-yard field goal.
Barlow left the game halfway through a fourth-period drive with
bruised ribs, but San Francisco did not miss a step. Jamal
Robertson came in and capped a 15-play drive with a 1-yard
touchdown run -- his first score as a 49er -- that gave San Francisco
its first lead of the game, 27-23.
Saints coach Jim Haslett was hit hard by Hurricane Ivan.
He said there was little left of his $1 million, 18th-floor condo
in Pensacola Beach, Fla., except the structure. The building was
hit almost directly by Ivan on Thursday. ... San Francisco and New
Orleans, former NFC West rivals, have met 68 times, with 49ers
holding 45-20-2 edge. ...The 49ers have scored in 420 straight
games, the longest streak in NFL history. ... San Francisco safety
Tony Parrish started his 98th straight game. ...The game was the
32nd straight home sellout for the Saints. ... Saints safety Steve
Gleason suffered a concussion; 49ers WR Arnaz Battle hurt his lower