Since the end of the first quarter, the 49ers offense has struggled to find a rhythm but, luckily for them, their tough defense and excellent special teams play has kept them in the lead through the game. That's the main reason why the San Francisco 49ers lead the New Orleans Saints by a score of 20-14 after the third quarter came to an end in Candlestick Park. That, and Saints turnovers.
The Niners got the ball first to start the second half but went three-and-out. They punted the ball away but for the second time in the game, the Saints' special teams unit fumbled during a return. This time it was Darren Sproles that fumbled the punt return and the 49ers recovered at New Orleans' 26-yard line.
The Niners weren't able to convert the fifth Saints turnover of the game into a touchdown but David Akers was able to send a field goal through the uprights to give the Niners a six-point lead.
They held on to that lead throughout the rest of the quarter as neither team was able to score by the time the final seconds ticked off the clock. The Saints have the ball and will start the last quarter driving down the field. Will the old saying "defense wins championships" prove to be correct again today?