The San Francisco 49ers can’t overcome their mistakes, losing to the Minnesota Vikings in week one. What were some key takeaways?
If the 49ers were able to limit their mistakes, they could’ve easily taken this game from Minnesota. San Francisco got off to a bad start, eventually trailing 24-6 at one point and it seemed too much to come back. But then Jimmy Garoppolo unleashed a spectacular throw to somehow connect with rookie Dante Pettis in the back of the endzone. The 49ers then only scored a field goal and a late Garoppolo interception sealed the fate.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
It all started when San Francisco was heading down to the field with a 14-play drive. At the one-yard line, they kept trying to get Alfred Morris into the end zone but it wasn’t working. Then he fumbled, preventing San Francisco from tying the game.
Then, Jimmy Garoppolo threw three interceptions. The first was a pick-six because receiver Kendrick Bourne ran the wrong route. The second was out of the reach of Pettis, which resulted in Xavier Rhodes making the one-handed interception. Finally, Garoppolo threw a pick to Harrison Smith on the possession where the 49ers could’ve driven to tie the game, but all hope was gone after the pick. The throw wasn’t a good one in the first place, as Trent Taylor was covered well.
It may not count as a turnover, but for me it does. Towards the 2:50 mark in the fourth quarter, Solomon Thomas jumped on a 4th and 1 which gave Minnesota the first down. It was a bonehead play, because the Vikings weren’t going to snap the ball and it gave the ball back to Minnesota.
Drops, Drops, Drops
So many drops could’ve been touchdowns today for San Francisco. Dante Pettis had a drop in the endzone but it was also great coverage by Trae Waynes. Pierre Garcon, a player who was absent today, also had a drop in the end zone after catching it but getting hit right after. George Kittle couldn’t catch a wide open pass and if he did, it would’ve went for a huge gain. However, he didn’t and the next play was the pick-six. What a terrible swing of moments for San Francisco.
49ers Defense Made Their Plays
When the 49ers needed their defense to step up the most, they did. Fred Warner, the rookie linebacker, was the best player on defense today. He was everywhere, having nine tackles at the end of the first half. He would finish the game with 12 tackles, one forced fumble, one pass breakup, one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss.
The 49ers started slow, got back into it, but shot themselves way too many times in a winnable game. If they can clean up their mistakes, they should be in for a good game with the Detroit Lions next week. Garoppolo needs to bounce back, Marquise Goodwin and the offensive line hopefully are healthy, and a solid defensive outing today should boost the 49ers chances next week.