Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner returned interceptions for touchdowns, the 49ers sacked Drew Brees five times, and San Francisco ended the New Orleans Saints' three-game winning streak, 31-21 on Sunday.
Colin Kaepernick was solid in his second-career start while Alex Smith, deemed healthy enough to suit up, watched from the sideline. Kaepernick passed for 231 yards, including a short touchdown to Frank Gore. He also ran for a 7-yard score. He threw his first career interception, but it was inconsequential.
Brees finished with 267 yards and three TDs. After rushing for 140 yards or more in each of its previous three games, New Orleans (5-6) managed only 59 yards against San Francisco (8-2-1).
One of Brees' scoring passes went to Marques Colston, who set a Saints record with his 56th career touchdown with the club.