It was the first game for the San Francisco 49ers since their loss to the Giants in the NFC Title Game earlier this Calender Year. It was still just a preseason game but it showed Bay Area natives that they seemed like the team from last season.
The 49ers managed to get a win over the Vikings in Candlestick Park, 17-6, with all of the scoring happening in the 1st half of play. After a Field Goal by the Vikings to start the game, Alex Smith orchestrated a 12 play, 84 yard drive that culminated into a 4 yard TD pass to Brett Swain. Then in the 2nd quarter after another Vikings Field Goal, Colin Kaepernick came into the game in place of Smith and made the play of the day with a 78 TD run on a QB draw. It was just the 2nd play of the day for Kaepernick.
Only one more Field Goal would be added on to the scoreboard but there was still much to take away from this game. First of which is that Rushing is still king for the 49ers as they had 260 rushing yards compared to just 82 from the Vikings. It seems that the 49ers’ offensive line is still as strong as ever, even with some of the back ups.
What may be the best sign is that the defense was still as strong as ever. They limited the Vikings to 208 yards and, while the starters didn’t seem as pass rush happy, the reserves got the job done in the 2nd half. You can tell that linebacker, Eric Bakhtiari, wants to make this team as he makes two great sacks and on the same drive. 4 sacks on the Minnesota QB’s overall.
The great combo of fine running and solid defense also reflect on Time of Possession. The 49ers had the ball for 36:58 while the Vikings had it for only 23:02. Clock management was something well done by the team.
There still seems to be some holes in that defensive backfield, especially when they allowed a big pass by Christian Ponder to Stephen Burton at the beginning of the game. They were fine for the rest of the game and Perrish Cox definitely capitalized on McLeod Bethel-Thompson mistake in the 4th but well have to wait until the regular season when they are facing top NFL QB’s to see if they have improved.
As for the fight for the #2 spot in the QB depth chart, it’s hard to ignore Colin Kaepernick’s 78 yard TD run but he didn’t seem to impress too much throwing the ball. Scott Tolzien, the third QB to go in for the 49ers, had a fair night despite the INT which was caused by being hit as he threw. He went 10/13 for 83 yards.
In the WR race, no notable standout but AJ Jenkins was targeted 6 times and caught the ball twice for 20 yards. Jenkins is no doubt still learning the position but he can’t just drop balls like he did tonight. #81 Chris Owusu made a few good catches for first downs in the 2nd half which could help him in stay in San Francisco.
Despite the win, the 49ers may have just avoided a serious loss. Aldon Smith had to leave the game with a bruised hip. It doesn’t seem to be serious but preseason injuries can cost a team down the road and they were lucky to avoid one tonight.
A great start for the 49ers towards the start of the new season. Be interesting to see how well the back ups and newbies will do against the Texans next weekend.
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Written by Daniel Trucios