Garrett Hartley’s third field goal of the game, a 37-yarder as time expired, lifted the visiting New Orleans Saints to a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
Drew Brees threw for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Reggie Bush and David Thomas as the Saints (2-0) beat the 49ers for the sixth straight time.
Alex Smith had taken the 49ers 82 yards in just eight plays for the tying touchdown, a 7-yard run by Frank Gore with 1:19 to play.
But that left just enough time for Brees to get the Saints in position for Hartley’s winning kick, which knuckled through the goalposts.
Brees, who finished 27 of 37, connected with running back Pierre Thomas on two passes before firing a 30-yard strike to Marques Colston on the game-winning drive as the reigning Super Bowl champions started 2-0 for the second straight year - the first time New Orleans has managed that in franchise history.
Alex Smith was 23 of 32 for 275 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for San Francisco (0-2), which committed four costly turnovers, including a fumble and interception in the red zone and a fumbled punt.
Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and also had seven receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers.
Bush injured a knee in the fourth quarter and was carted off the field.