Starting the season against the Vikings in Minnesota was always going to be a tough task for the 49ers. The Vikings were one game away from the Super Bowl last year and upgraded their quarterback with the signing of Kirk Cousins in the offseason. But that still doesn’t help with the 49ers’ frustration in their loss on Sunday. They were in the game and had opportunities to steal a victory. Mistakes and red zone failures put winning out of reach.
The red zone issues were glaring on Sunday. They were in the red zone 4 times against the Viking’s elite defense. In those opportunities, they scored one touchdown and fumbled one at the goal line. It’s always going to be hard to score touchdowns against great defenses like Minnesota’s, so when the opportunity arises, the team has to punch them in. The Alfred Morris fumble at the 1 yard line hurt a lot because it would have tied the game at 10 a piece. Instead, they never got closer than 11 points. On a series in the 3rd quarter, Jimmy Garoppolo hit a jumping Pierre Garcon, but Pierre could not secure the touchdown. That led the team to a field goal. On their last red zone chance, Jimmy sailed a pass over George Kittle from 4 yards. That led to their last points of the game.
In their home opener this coming Sunday, the 49ers face the Detroit Lions, who had an awful game on Monday night. The Lions had poor showings on both sides of the ball. Matt Stafford had 4 interceptions against the Jets and the Jets offense hung 41 points on the terrible Lions defense. That’s a much easier task than facing the Vikings defense so the 49ers should have an opportunity to fix their red zone offense on Sunday.
Not an ideal way to start the season | Down 2 guards potentially (Alper)
That red zone offense needs to get fixed immediately | Fixing the offense (Inman)
Other than the dropped pass, he had a good game | Good start to Kittle’s season (Williams)
Only allowed one reception | Richard Sherman’s 1st game went well (Wagoner)
Have to fix the red zone offense (Maiocco)
Dante’s 1st TD (Martin)
Defense played well. Now need Jimmy and the red zone to play well | Week 1 concerns (Fann)
1st game led to a lot of injuries (Madson)
The start of the Jimmy-Dante connection (Madson)
Moving up the power rankings (Madson)
Kyle should get this fixed quickly | Red zone issues (Biderman)
Debuts went well (Madson)
Favorites in the home opener (Madson)
Impressive start for both | Defensive debuts for Warner and Sherman (Almquist)
Shanahan’s issues in the red zone (Cohn)
Jimmy’s day (NFL video)