The San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings played on Sunday August 25, and we learned a couple things as the season approaches in less than two weeks. The first thing is that Minnesota believes Adrian Peterson doesn’t ever need any carries during the preseason. Another thing is Colin Kaepernick can look mighty human at times during a game.
What we thought would be the first preseason action for Adrian Peterson in more than two years turned out to be a farce. We now know there was no way the Vikings were going to subject Peterson to any physical contact against the 49ers. Adrian Peterson played two plays, including a play action pass where he was a decoy. After simulating a block on the backside, Peterson trotted off the field and never returned. The very next play Christian Ponder was sacked and fumbled the ball over the San Francisco 49ers.
Colin Kaepernick started off slowly with the 49ers first team. After getting a turnover at the 11 yard line, San Francisco was unable to move the ball and had to settle for a field goal. In the preview, we wanted to see the 49ers handle red zone situations better and they were handed a gift early in the game, yet they could not fully capitalize.
Kaepernick began the game completing 1 of 7 passes during that sluggish start. Then in a blink of an eye, he led San Francisco down the field for an 11 play 84 yard drive. The possession culminated with a touchdown catch for rookie Quinton Patton. Colin Kaepernick completed six straight passes and then he was done for the day.
Although San Francisco’s offense was very vanilla, it was getting worrisome that they weren’t clicking yet.
While Christian Ponder had two turnovers on the day, he also threw two touchdown passes on 17 completions.
The San Francisco 49ers defense was on point all day long. They caused havoc in the backfield and gave up 214 total yards on the night. Even with Patrick Willis sidelined, this defense is powerful up front. When the 49ers are the aggressor, they’ll be in the backfield all game long. Last night, they had two sacks.
The 49ers special teams also looked in regular season form. Lavelle Hawkins had a 105 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and two penalties after the play. Place kicker Phil Dawson was 2-2, including a 50 yard field goal late in the second quarter.
The final score was San Francisco 34-14 over the Vikings.
It’s hard to critique Minnesota without Adrian Peterson involved in the offense because he’s such a big part. However, if he’s able to have the same type of impact as last season, Minnesota can earn a playoff spot once again.
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