The San Francisco 49ers open their highly anticipated 2018 campaign with a road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Let’s preview this week one matchup!
The long awaited wait for the 2018 NFL season is over! We got to witness the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl champs in the Philadelphia Eagles battle it out on Thursday. However, the 49ers open up their season on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings in what should be a great matchup between the two sides.
What’s the 49ers without Jimmy G? Ever since his rise, he’s all a 49ers fan can talk about. Garoppolo’s heading into his first full season as the starter, which is filled with so many high expectations. He turned a 1-10 franchise around in just five games and still hasn’t lost a game as a starter. That’s going to change this year (unless he pulls off the unlikely 19-0 season) but nonetheless it’s going to be an exciting season. He’s going to face a very tough Minnesota defense so the offensive line will have to play their parts. Expect Garoppolo to target Marquise Goodwin and George Kittle in the game early. Also, expect Garoppolo and Garcon to get some plays going to develop chemistry. Their connection needs to be strong as Garcon doesn’t drop balls often, which has been a problem so far. Checkdowns could be a huge factor as well and San Francisco has backs capable of being productive in the passing game.
The second-year 49ers running back looks to enter week one as the prime back due to Jerick McKinnon‘s absence. Breida is definitely more than capable of being the starter as he made great runs last season in a limited role. The 49ers should try to establish the run early on but against the Vikings defense, it’s going to be tough. Breida should also be an option in the passing game as mentioned above and fullback Kyle Juszczyk can also be a duel-threat in the back. Alfred Morris had a great preseason and he’s a great option behind Breida.
Richard Sherman, the veteran corner, makes his first official start in a San Francisco jersey. He’s going to be facing some talented wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs but he’s definitely going to be ready for the challenge. Ahkello Witherspoon is entering his second year at corner after shining last season when he started to get more opportunities. Both will be busy with a pass heavy quarterback in Kirk Cousins. The secondary will need to rely heavily on the defensive line’s ability to bring pressure or else Thielen and Diggs could be in for big days.
The veteran kicker had a fantastic 2017 season, nailing 39 field goals on 41 attempts. If the 49ers struggle in the red zone like they have been, Gould will have to be good as gold more this season.
San Francisco has a difficult test to start the season but what a win it will be if they pull off the victory.
Prediction: 49ers 24, Vikings 23 (That’s how close this game could be)