San Francisco (7-2-1) opened the scoring with 7:21 left in the first quarter, when quarterback Colin Kaepernick scampered seven yards for a touchdown. The Saints (5-5) answered at the 1:45 mark, as Drew Brees completed a six-yard scoring pass to tight end David Thomas.
The Saints moved ahead in the second quarter thanks to another touchdown pass from Brees. The quarterback hooked up with Marques Colston for a 10-yard score with 7:53 remaining in the half. The 49ers leveled the score on a 50-yard interception return by Ahmad Brooks 22 seconds before the halftime whistle.
Kaepernick was 7 of 12 in the half, throwing for 112 yards and an interception. He rushed five times for 27 yards. Mario Manningham caught four passes for 63 yards.
Brees completed 14 of 20 passes for 112 yards, two touchdowns and a pick in the first 30 minutes. Mark Ingram picked up 20 yards on eight carries, and Joseph Morgan hauled in one pass for 33 yards.