49ers-Vikings final score
The San Francisco 49ers came up just short, losing 24-16, as mistakes cost them against the Minnesota Vikings. Jimmy Garoppolo threw three interceptions, Alfred Morris had the key fumble at the Vikings 1-yard line, and George Kittle had the brutal drop on a play in which he was wide open with nothing but daylight in front of him. It was fitting that the penultimate mistake was Solomon Thomas jumping offsides on a 4th down where it was obvious the Vikings were not going to hike the ball.
The 49ers return home to face the Detroit Lions in Week 2.
Garoppolo throws spectacular touchdown pass to Dante Pettis
The 49ers first touchdown of the season came on this impressive throw and catch. Jimmy Garoppolo spun out of pressure, and then chucked it deep amidst more pressure. The pass was just the right distance for rookie Dante Pettis to haul it in and get his feet inbounds for his first career touchdown. Give it a watch:
Dante Pettis, who was open at the 3-yard-line when Garoppolo was sacked on the previous play, catches this one. pic.twitter.com/oBTJzYkzUQ— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) September 9, 2018
Questions in coverage
The 49ers gave up a pair of touchdown passes to Kirk Cousins, and both came because the defensive backs did not get their heads turned around. The latest example was on Cousins touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph. Jaquiskis Tartt had solid coverage, like Ahkello Witherspoon did earlier, but Cousins dropped in a perfectly placed pass and Tartt didn’t even see it. The 49ers trail 24-6 late in the third quarter.
It’s only the third quarter, but the 49ers offense had a one-two punch of self-inflicted wounds that cost them big time. Trailing 10-3, Jimmy Garoppolo had a wide open George Kittle for what would have been a touchdown. Instead, Kittle dropped it, and on the next play, Garoppolo threw a pick-six to Mike Hughes. Kendrick Bourne was the intended receiver, but he fell on the route, and Garoppolo’s throw seemed off anyway. The 49ers have since added a field goal, but trail 17-6 midway through the third quarter.
Huge block by Yoose, and beautiful pass. Kittle stone-hands it. And it leads to a pick-six on the next play. 49ers have given away two touchdowns now. pic.twitter.com/BpdtV9w2j7— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) September 9, 2018
49ers injury update
Marquise Goodwin has been ruled questionable to return with a quadricep injury. He was spotted working on the exercise bike, which is a good sign. Right guard Mike Person went down when Weston Richburg was rolled onto his ankle. Joshua Garnett replaced him in the lineup as Person was taken to the locker room on a cart. He has been ruled questionable to return with a foot injury.
Second injury update: Garnett suffered a non-contact injury to his leg and was carted off. Mike McGlinchey moved insight to right guard, and Garry Gilliam came on at right tackle. The 49ers are now out of reserve offensive linemen.
49ers get on the board with a field goal
The 49ers offense is struggling to get going, but they strung a few players together to get into field goal range. Jimmy Garoppolo connected with George Kittle on back-to-back catch and runs totaling 31 yards. Rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis drew a 15-yard pass interference penalty to set up the eventual 42-yard field goal to cut the Vikings lead to 10-3. The most notable news on this drive was Marquise Goodwin hobbling off the field after taking a hit around his hip or upper leg. His status will be updated.
Kirk Cousins throws his first TD of the game
The Vikings got their first touchdown of the season to take a 10-0 lead on the 49ers. Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs in the end zone with a perfectly placed pass. Ahkello Witherspoon had coverage on Diggs, but did not look back to see the pass. He got in a hand late, but it didn’t matter and the Vikings got the score.
First score of the game
The Vikings struck first blood late in the first quarter on a 48-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The big play of the drive saw Stefon Diggs put Richard Sherman on skates to get out to midfield. The 49ers got pressure on 3rd down at the end of the drive, but K’Waun Williams just missed on a sack blitzing from the edge. Vikings rookie kicker Daniel Carlson kicked the field goal for the early lead.
DeForest Buckner gets his first sack of the season
It did not take DeForest Buckner long to get on the board with a sack. He absolutely bulldozed left guard Tom Compton and had no problem getting to Kirk Cousins. He also had a tackle for a loss on the Vikings first drive, and got a key pressure to force a punt. 2018 is off to a strong start for DeFo.
Breaking it down pre-game
Richard Sherman is one of the newest 49ers, but it’s not surprising he was there to break things down! Check out the video:
The 49ers captains for Week 1 are wide receiver Pierre Garçon, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, and special teams ace and running back Raheem Mostert. Garçon was the team’s leading receiver last year before a neck injury cost him the second half of the season, and propelled Marquise Goodwin up the depth chart. Buckner will be looking for help from Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and Cassius Marsh to open up pass rush lanes. Mostert is a key special teamer, but with Jerick McKinnon out for the year, he could find some opportunities in the ground game.
There are no big surprises in the inactives. Malcolm Smith was listed as doubtful, so his chances of playing in Week 1 were long. Richie James can contribute but the 49ers were not going to keep all six wide receivers active on game day. Garry Gilliam is the swing tackle, while Joshua Garnett is the backup guard. If center Weston Richburg were to get hurt, Mike Person would take over at center.
49ers inactives: WR Richie James, LB Malcolm Smith, OL Erik Magnuson, OL Matt Tobin, DL Jullian Taylor, OL Shon Coleman
Vikings inactives: CB Mackensie Alexander, C Pat Elflein, RB Roc Thomas, QB Kyle Sloter, RB Mike Boone, OT Aviante Collins, DT Jalyn Holmes
Vikings injury report update
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury, but he will play, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. Rhodes was a full participant at Friday’s practice after being listed as limited on Wednesday and Thursday. Expect the 49ers to challenge him early.
The San Francisco 49ers officially return to real football today! The preseason is a wrap and we are back to regular season football for the first time in over eight months. The 49ers get things going this morning at 10:00 a.m. PT when they head to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings. The game will air on FOX as a regional broadcast, and you can see who will get the game on the broadcast map. Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis will be in the booth, and Pam Oliver will be on the sideline.
The 49ers ride into the season with all the momentum they could ever ask for. Seen no longer as a dumpster fire, the team has become media darlings with the rise and play of Jimmy Garoppolo, winning their last five games to close out 2017. They already have some issues, namely special teams and edge rusher depth with the loss of Dekoda Watson. They also took a huge hit in the backfield with Jerick McKinnon tearing his ACL to start the season.
The Vikings has done nothing but improve from the 2017 season, where they went to the NFC Championship Game. Gone is quarterback Case Keenum, in is Kirk Cousins, the original favorite to come to San Francisco until Garoppolo made it apparent that the starting quarterback job was no longer vacant.
The Vikings also get running back Dalvin Cook back after he suffered a knee injury of his own in 2017. The return of Cook should help what is already a decent running game. The only real question mark is the Vikings offensive line, which got a slight hit with the injury bug. Starting center Pat Elflein is out for Sunday as is backup offensive tackle Aviante Collins.
The 49ers will likely be without linebacker Malcolm Smith. Smith is dealing with a hamstring issue and listed as doubtful. Offensive lineman Erik Magnuson will also be out whom did not practice at all this week.
Nuts and bolts
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Game time: Sunday, September 9th, 10:00 A.M. PT
TV channel: FOX
Online streaming: NFL Game Pass
Radio: 810-AM, 107.7 (Ted Robinson, Tim Ryan) | Full listings
Spanish Radio: KTRB 860-AM (Jesús Zárate, Gabriel Sotelo)
Matchup history: 49ers lead all-time series 23-22-1
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (sideline)
Enemy blog: Daily Norseman
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Regular season schedule
Week 1: @ Minnesota Vikings, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 9
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 16
Week 3: @ Kansas City Chiefs, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 23
Week 4: @ Los Angeles Chargers, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 30
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 7
Week 6: @ Green Bay Packers, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, October 15
Week 7: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, October 21
Week 8: @ Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 28
Week 9: vs. Oakland Raiders, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network, Thursday, November 1
Week 10: vs. New York Giants, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, November 12
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, November 25
Week 13: @ Seattle Seahawks, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, December 2
Week 14: vs. Denver Broncos, 1:05 p.m., CBS, Sunday, December 9
Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 16
Week 16: vs. Chicago Bears, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 23
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 30