29 Nov 49ers Take Care of Business vs the Vikings 34-26
Wow! That was one heck of a game. The San Francisco 49ers took care of business at home against the Minnesota Vikings, and won the game 34-26. This game felt more like a playoff game than the Wild Card matchup between these two teams in 2019! There were turnovers, sacks, injuries (sadly) and a lot of touchdowns. So, let’s get into some key takeaways from the third straight win (and fourth out of five) for the 49ers.
Deebo Samuel, MVP
I know, I know — it’s a QB award, but hear me out! What Deebo Samuel has done for the San Francisco 49ers this season is nothing short of remarkable. He has accounted for 1,209 of the team’s 4,016 offensive yards, plus accounting for 10 of the team’s 33 touchdowns this season! He was phenomenal against the Vikings, and was the first receiver to top 1.000 receiving yards since Anquan Boldin in 2014 and the first 49er to do so since George Kittle in 2019. Unfortunately Deebo Samuel left the game early with a groin injury. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious for the superstar.
“My groin got kind of tight once I went to make a move,” Samuel said. “I was just like ‘Let’s not make that that worse. That’s why I went down. Not too much concern. Got an MRI in the morning and we will see how it goes.”Deebo Samuel on his groin injury.
Jimmy Garoppolo Is Walking A Fine Line
Jimmy Garoppolo started the game very poorly, throwing an interception straight to Harrison Smith. The Vikings wasted no time in turning that interception into 7 points, as Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen in the back of the end zone on fourth & goal. After the turnover, Kyle Shanahan was seen having a very animated, one-sided conversation with Jimmy Garoppolo on the sidelines. Although Garoppolo did not turn the ball over again in this game, there were a handful of throws that were either too high, late or both that could’ve easily been intercepted. He finished the game 17/26, 230 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT. Is he on a short leash? We might not ever find out if they continue to win, since that masks (almost) everything.
49ers Defense Adopting A ‘Bend Don’t Break’ Mentality
The 49ers defense gave up 19 points to the Minnesota Vikings (7 points came from a kickoff return), but they came up big when it mattered most. They stopped four straight plays from the Vikings inside the SF 10 yard line, causing a turnover on downs. It seems like the 49ers know their secondary, particularly Josh Norman, is a liability, and they do their best to overcome that. They were able to force two turnovers (in addition to the two fourth down stops), which was enough to win the turnover battle 2-1. Although they gave up some big plays & committed some dumb mistakes, they got the job done.
Side note – Azeez Al-Shaair is playing fantastic football this season, and it shows on the field.
Elijah Mitchell, RB1
The rookie running back recorded his second game with 130+ rushing yards in only 8 career games. He has 4 100+ yard rushing performances this season already! Mitchell has quickly cemented his place as the starting running back for the San Francisco 49ers moving forward. Veteran Raheem Mostert is well respected in the Bay Area by The Faithful, however he is not under contract beyond this season. The 49ers likely drafted Mitchell as an insurance policy in case Mostert was injured again or asking for more than they’re willing to pay, and it appears to be paying off already. The rookie is averaging 70 yards per game and roughly 5 yards per carry, and the 49ers are clearly a better team with him in the lineup. There is a fantastic core of young stars on offense – Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Trey Lance, George Kittle & Elijah Mitchell. The San Francisco 49ers have a very promising future.