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Was Saints' 48-point defensive meltdown a blip or reason to worry?

METAIRIE, La. -- The defense has been the glue for the New Orleans Saints through much of this season, helping them win games by scores such as 12-10 and 13-6 while Teddy Bridgewater was filling in for Drew Brees at quarterback.

On Sunday, well, they came unglued.

The Saints’ 48-46 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14 was a frightening flashback to the not-so-distant past, when New Orleans had the NFL’s No. 1-ranked offense and No. 32-ranked defense over a 10-year span from 2007 to '16.