The facts: The 49ers fell to 0-2 with a 25-22 home defeat to the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.
The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two.
Quarterback Alex Smith led a fourth-quarter comeback to tie the game. Smith completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 275 yards. His interceptions came on tipped passes. This was the best Smith has looked during critical moments against a playoff-caliber team.
The 49ers' young offensive line came together with a strong performance, helping Frank Gore rush for 112 yards. The offense amassed 417 yards overall.
The defense held Drew Brees and the Saints below 300 total yards, the second time that has happened since Week 2 of the 2008 season (the other time was Week 17 last season, when the Saints had clinched playoff positioning).
Gore's 21st game with at least 100 yards rushing broke the franchise record he shared with Joe Perry.
Rookie Anthony Dixon scored a touchdown on his first NFL carry.
Ahmad Brooks collected a sack in his first game back from a lacerated kidney.
The 49ers converted a higher percentage of their third-down chances -- 55.6 percent -- than in any game since the 2007 season.
Looking ahead: The 49ers visit the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.