The San Francisco 49ers opened the season with a nice win on Monday Night Football, defeating the Minnesota Vikings by a final score of 20-3. After an ugly first half that was a lot more entertaining than the 7-0 score would indicate, the 49ers rolled through the second half. They rode the legs of Carlos Hyde, who had a fantastic debut in his debut as the team's starting running back.
Carlos Hyde was the star, but big kudos to the offensive line. The team went left a lot early, as the right side seemed a bit slow to gel. But eventually even the right side started looking good. Hyde eventually was running at will both ways. Part of that was due to his vision and power, but credit to the much maligned offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, the defense balled out as well. Adrian Peterson was held to 31 yards on 10 carries, and Teddy Bridgewater managed 231 yards and an interception. Eric Mangini had them ready to play and it was a fantastic play. We even got a little victory formation!
Offensive MVP: Carlos Hyde put together a pretty amazing performance in his first game as the 49ers starting running back. He finished the game with 168 yards and a pair of touchdown runs (10-yards and 17-yards. It looked like the team was set to give Reggie Bush some decent run complementing Hyde, but a first quarter leg injury ended Bush's night. Jarryd Hayne got some work, but it was the Carlos Hyde show, and he thoroughly dominated.
Defensive MVP: I suppose it belongs to a player, but everybody played so well. And so, I'm going with a suggestion from 49ers writer Chris Biderman: Eric Mangini. The Vikings got some yards, but for the most part, the 49ers defense completely flustered the Vikings offense. The pass rush was fierce, although some of that likely came due to the fact that the Vikings offensive line was awful. They were without their center and right tackle, and it showed. Great work by Mangini dialing up blitzes, and getting his defense ready in a big way.
Under the radar play of the night: The 49ers were attempting a field goal in the first half, and the Vikings managed to block it. Marcus Sherels picked up the ball and was off to the races. He was into 49ers territory and seemed set to take it the distance for an early touchdown. Fortunately, Vance McDonald was hustling down the field, and made the tackle at the 49ers 26-yard line. The Vikings offense went three and out after that, and then missed the field goal. If McDonald doesn't make that stop, things change in kind of a big way.
Reggie Bush left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury. He came up limping after a run on 3rd and short, and left with a limp on his left leg. He was initially ruled questionable to return, but was declared out to start the second half. The 49ers had deactivated Mike Davis and activated Jarryd Hayne for the game. Hayne got some running back work once Bush went down, but Hyde was the workhorse.
NaVorro Bowman left the game for one play in the third quarter. He went down to his knees, but it turns out it was "just" a shot below the belt. Shayne Skov came on in his place, but Bowman returned a play later.
GIF of the night