SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – They didn’t win until overtime, and it took a huge fourth down play to get there. But the 49ers’ psyche got a 27-24 lift in New Orleans Sunday.

“You have confidence, you always think you do, but after losing to a team like the Rams the week before, you do lose a little confidence,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.

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Though they fell behind in the second half, the 49ers jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the game, and Madden said the strong start was important.

“When you play a team like the Saints that are tough at home — and we all know that — in the dome with Drew Brees and his offense and all that, and you can take over the game right away… I think that gets your confidence back. And that kind of carries over through the whole game.”

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The 49ers second half-offense problems continued, though, as they failed to score a point until the field goal that tied the game at the end of regulation.

“You wonder why,” Madden said. “I don’t know that they change a lot of things or don’t change, or do anything wrong. Maybe you tend to be a little conservative if you’re ahead. I’m not sure. I would just be guessing. I’m not sure that there is a thing. If there is a thing, it’s not an easy thing to fix.” (6:40)

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(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 and Monday and Friday mornings at 9:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)